By Hans Ebert

There’s something of “The Coop” and “Gunfight At OK Corral” about the very long goodbye from Hong Kong racing to multiple champion trainer John Moore. The twists and turns and public relations efforts for maximum effort has created an interesting horse opera.

At 70 years and facing compulsory retirement from the training ranks, one cannot help but think of some of champion horses that Moore has trained- Viva Pataca (below), Collection, Designs On Rome, Able Friend, Rapper Dragon, Werther and, more recently, Beauty Generation.

There’s something else: The retirement will see the end of the Moore dynasty that cast a very long shadow over Hong Kong racing led by the great George Moore and sons Gary and John.

There are then all those great Australian jockeys who rode for the Moore stable over the years- Noel Barker, Johnny Marshall, Brian York, Darren Beadman, Tommy Berry and, of course, back in the day when champion Hong Kong jockey- Gary Moore.

That’s a sizeable slice of Hong Kong racing history. But the past is the past and with John and Gary Moore set to form a new training partnership in Australia in July, this afternoon, we see the outgoing trainer saddle his last group of runners in a Group 1 race in Hong Kong- Helen Charisma, Savvy Nine, Werther and Chefano in the Standard and Chater Champions and Chater Cup. The $10 million race has been won six times by the outgoing trainer.

With four runners from Moore and three from Tony Cruz in a seven horse race, this just might not be the benefit race for favourite Exultant many think it will be. This race has been pretty much a graveyard for favourites.

With Joao Moreira on Savvy Nine and the increasingly popular and impressive Antoine Hamelin (below), who could have a good day, riding French import Helene Charisma certain to not give an inch to Zac Purton on Exultant, who knows what might happen?

Having John Moore steal the race- his last Group 1 race in Hong Kong- would not be something that anyone would begrudge him.

Still with Hong Kong, albeit in a roundabout way, was the defeat of hot favourite Kinane in the Group 3 Gunsynd Classic at Eagle Farm. A recent offer of over AUS$2m for the Chris Waller-trained galloper from Hong Kong connections was turned down. And why not?Much is expected of this galloper. But it was not to be yesterday.

Other than ending up third after drawing barrier 17, there was some irony that the race was won at 10-1 by another New Zealand bred galloper-Supergiant, given an excellent ride by- you guessed it-Hong Kong born Allan Chau.

#JohnMoore #HKracing #Kinane #AllanChau #Exultant #ChampionandChatersCup #AntoineHamelin