/ Racing

Eagle soars to Cup triumph

Updated: Sunday, 14 Dec 2008 12:21

Eagle Mountain dominated the Hong Kong Cup
Eagle Mountain dominated the Hong Kong Cup

Eagle Mountain ran out a hugely impressive winner of the Cathay Pacific Hong Kong Cup for Mike De Kock.

The former Aidan O'Brien inmate was beaten by Conduit in the Breeders' Cup Turf but back over 10 furlongs here he always looked the winner.

Kevin Shea was in the perfect position throughout and kicked on early in the straight.

He immediately took two lengths out of the field and try as Balius might to close the gap, he never looked like catching the impressive winner.

Michael Stoute's Linngari ran a cracker to claim third under Ryan Moore but hot favourite Viva Pataca endured a nightmare run under Darren Beadman, just as he had 12 months ago, and ran on to claim only fourth.

Lush Lashes was stirred up at the start and ran too free for Kevin Manning and faded to finish last.

Moore said of Linngari's fine run: ‘I am delighted with him he ran a great race.’

Owner Rupert Plersch added: ‘What a shame he had that draw, he definitely would have finished second with a better draw. He showed great acceleration and has shown what he can do.’

De Kock said: ‘He was very well ridden by Kevin. We planned to be a lot handier. The other horses were messing around at the start and he missed the break by half a length and he had to improvise.

‘I think he won it on the turn when he got out of trouble and was able to sweep around the horses that were coming back to him. You could see around the turn he was travelling extremely well just like he did in the Breeders' Cup.

‘I was always confident because things have gone well. The most important thing when you travel horses is that they get their heads in the manger and that's what he has done since he stepped off the plane.

‘He is a very resilient horse and eats up, the key factor is that the enforced injury gave him time to rest at Sheikh Mohammed's farm and that has made the difference, we have a horse at the end of the year with fresh legs.

‘We could run this horse any distance anywhere, he is just one of those horses that is effective at a mile to a mile and a half.

‘He will have a break now before Dubai and he will run on Super Thursday to decide if we run him over nine furlongs or a mile and a half on World Cup night.’

Despite his easy victory Shea admitted he did not have things all his own way.

‘It was a rough race. It didn't go according to plan but it never does,’ said Shea.

‘There was a lot of interference in front of me and I could hear a lot of interference behind me, but he was always travelling well and once I got round to the 800 I was happy to pull three wide, the horse in front of me was improving but I had the horse underneath me.

‘I had a clear run straightening and I waited until I was well inside the 400 to set him alight and when I was inside the 300 I glanced at the big screen and I saw he had gone clear and I knew it was race over. This is a special horse and has improved from America.

‘I have always thought this was a better horse than Archipenko but also a different horse. Archipenko is very labouring and you have to get into him to start working, but this horse is very automatic.

‘Maybe the injury has done him a world of good and given him time to rest.

‘Mike's results speak for themselves. He has won races in about every country in the world at Group One level.’