The Moore the merrier for veteran HK trainer
Chefano gives 7-time champion his sixth Queen Mother Memorial Cup Handicap
Chefano yesterday gave trainer John Moore a sixth win in the Group 3 Queen Mother Memorial Cup Handicap over 2,400m with a resolute front-running display at Sha Tin.
Jockey Matthew Chadwick dictated the tempo against only four rivals - three of which hailed from the same record-breaking stable. He did so with full confidence in his mount's ability to outrun the rest.
"He travelled early, got an easy time in front and he was always going to outstay them," said Chadwick.
"I thought his run last time was the best of John's horses and he had improvement to come, so I thought he was as good if not better than the favourite."
Helene Leadingstar was the market pick and the only horse not from the Moore camp. The Tony Cruz-trained galloper advanced with a wide effort on the home turn, as jockey Karis Teetan attempted to press the leader. But Zac Purton, on Eagle Way, had the same idea, forcing Helene Leadingstar to labour three-wide.
Chefano was headed briefly, but Chadwick regathered the South African import and the pair forged on down the home straight for a 21/4-length success over Savvy Nine.
"I said he'd stay all day," said Moore. "He's by a sire, Silvano, who went over a mile and a half (2,400m) and he was off a light weight, so from that point of view, I had no worries about getting the distance.
"I wasn't sure about whether Chadwick would be able to get him to travel because he'd never been on him before and this horse can be a little lazy from the 600 (metres) on. He can start to drop the speed a bit but he got the best out of him when they took him on and the horse outstayed them."
Chefano and company will likely face a much stiffer task should they take on recent Group 1 FWD Queen Elizabeth II Cup winner Exultant later this month in the last of Hong Kong's three 2,400m races - the Group 1 Champions & Chater Cup.
"He'll go to the Champions & Chater Cup but that's set-weights, so it's going to be much more difficult. I will consider the Champions & Chater Cup for my other runners," said Moore, a seven-time champion.
The five-year-old became the 110th winner this season to have scored straight from Conghua, the Hong Kong Jockey Club's racecourse training facility in the Chinese mainland.
That figure eclipsed by one the total winners from Conghua last season, with more trainers able and eager to utilise the facility this term now that they are familiar with how to manage their operations there.
Moore added to the Conghua score when he completed a treble with Champion Supreme, in the Class 3 Insular Handicap over 2,000m under Vagner Borges. His charge did so in a Class record 2min 00.37sec. - HKJC