12/13/2009 12:00AM

Vision d'Etat rallies to win Hong Kong Cup

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Hong Kong Jockey Club
Olivier Peslier guides Vision d'Etat to victory in the Hong Kong Cup at Sha Tin on Sunday.

Vision d'Etat and Daryakana landed big race victories for France at Sha Tin's Hong Kong International Races on Sunday, a day when the locally trained Good Ba Ba made history by winning the Hong Kong Mile for the third year in a row.

Vision d'Etat overcame a minor injury scare on Saturday to add to his reputation as one of the world's best horses at 1 1/4 miles as the French-bred son of Chichicastenango rallied to win the $2.58 million Hong Kong Cup by three-quarters of a length from the locally trained favorite Collection. Olivier Peslier always had Vision d'Etat poised just behind the leaders in sixth. He pounced at the furlong marker to add to his equally brilliant score in the Prince of Wales's Stakes at Royal Ascot in June.

The Luca Cumani-trained Presvis was third, 2 1/2 lengths behind Collection, as defending champ Eagle Mountain lumbered home a one-paced fifth. Sent off at 6.05-1, Vision d'Etat covered the 10 furlongs on good ground in 2:01.86.

Vision d'Etat had to pass a veterinarian examination Sunday morning after having developed an infection on his right hind fetlock. A trip to the brand new Meydan Racecourse for the first Dubai World Cup to be run on a synthetic surface could be in the works for the 2008 French Derby winner, although trainer Eric Libaud said that he would first want to inspect the new Tapeta surface there before making a commitment.

In victory, Peslier was winning a record seventh Hong Kong International Race, surpassing the total of six that fellow Frenchman Gerald Mosse had reached a few hours earlier when guiding the Aga Khan's exciting 3-year-old filly Daryakana to victory in the $1.8 million Hong Kong Vase. Now undefeated after five starts, Daryakana, the Alain de Royer-Dupre-trained daughter of Selkirk, came from last to first to catch Breeders' Cup Turf fourth Spanish Moon near the line by a short head. The Francois Doumen-trained Kasbah Bliss, a sometimes hurdler in France and England, was third, just a neck behind Spanish Moon with another French trainee, Cirrus des Aigles, fifth. Local hero Viva Pataca could only manage sixth as the John Sadler-trained Black Mamba, who had been fighting a fever most of the week, finished last of 13th after having tracked the pace in third early on.

The winner last time of the 1 9/16-mile, Group 2 Prix de Royallieu at Longchamp on Oct. 3, Daryakana covered the Vase's 1 1/2 miles in 2:27.51 at odds of 5.70-1.

"She is a superb long-distance filly," exclaimed Mosse, who was replacing the suspended Christophe Lemaire. "She's not the biggest, but she's all heart."

And she could cause havoc next year in all of Europe's big 12-furlong races.

In winning the $2 million Hong Kong Mile for the third time, Good Ba Ba was giving trainer Derek Cruz his first Mile title as the Kentucky-bred son of Lear Fan had won his first two Miles under the care of Andreas Schutz. Like Daryakana, he came from last to first in the 14-runner field, leading under transplanted Frenchman Olivier Doleuze to nip another Hong Kong trainee, the odds-on choice Happy Zero, by a half-length at 2.65-1. As in the Hong Kong Sprint, the first four finishers are all locally trained as Fellowship and Egyptian Ra filled the third and fourth spots. The Ben Cecil-trained Ferneley broke the Hong Kong monopoly with a fine effort to finish a fast-closing fifth under Kieren Fallon, beaten by just 1 1/2 lengths.

Good Ba Ba was timed in 1:34.60 and could be stepped up to 1 1/4 miles for his next start.