Mighty High qualifies for Melbourne Cup

Mighty High qualified for the 2011 Melbourne Cup after winning the G1 Champions & Chater Cup at Sha Tin on Sunday.

Mighty High (5g Peintre Celebre – Bernimixa by Linamix) looked a handicap certainty but had to fight every inch of the 2400m journey to defeat Mr Medici (Medicean).  Old warhorse Viva Pataca was third home.

“Darren (Beadman) got off and said Mighty High would be a perfect horse for the Melbourne Cup,” trainer John Moore said.  “He did appear a good thing at weight-for-age.”

Owner Albert Hung gave his immediate consent to a proposed trip to Melbourne in the spring.  “This is my first Group 1 winner after many years of ownership.  I’m very grateful to John for buying this horse for me, and very excited too.”

Mighty High is a French import and had won twice at Longchamp for owner-breeder H H Aga Khan before leaving for Hong Kong twelve months ago.  He is by former Coolmore shuttler Peintre Celebre from Bernimixa, a G2 winner of the Prix de Pomone at Deauville.

Bernimixa is a sister to Miraculous (Longchamp G3 Prix Gladiateur) and a half-sister to High Chaparral filly Winkle (LR Deauville Prix Vulcain).  The mare has a yearling colt by Darley shuttler Authorized.

“I didn’t demand a full effort from Mighty High,” Beadman said when asked whether he had been worried by Mr Medici.  “He had another gear left.  The best horses come to the front in weight for age races and, the three who would have been top weights in a handicap, finished 1-2-3.”

Hong Kong’s greatest ever prizemoney winner Viva Pataca was gallant in defeat.  “Viva ran another great race,” Moore explained.  “But he’s missing a cylinder now and I’ll be recommending to Dr Ho that we retire him.”

Moore rounded off a great day’s racing when stablemates Dim Sum and Sunny King ran the quinella in the G3 Sha Tin Vase.   Dim Sum’s victory kept Moore in touch with Tony Cruz in the battle for yet another trainers premiership.