For six years Viva Pataca was the Chinese racing sensation, and his racing career proves what a magnificent horse he is. He has had forty-four starts during his career, where he placed third in ten races, came in second five times and enjoyed thirteen victories. He has accumulated over HK$83 million for his owner Stanley Ho. After placing third in the Champions and Charter Cup, a Group One race that he has won three times previously, the decision was made to retire Viva Pataca, as it is the first season that he has not been able to clinch a victory after taking the racing industry in Hong Kong by storm.
Foaled in England on 7 May 2002, Viva Pataca was bred by the Duke of Roxburghe and the Duke of Devonshire. He was sired by Marju and was out of the mare Comic, leading to him being named Comic Strip and put on sale in 2003 where he was bought by Neil Greigh. Sir Mark Prescott became his trainer and led him to win five of his first six career starts. Stanley Ho, a businessman from Macau, noticed Comic Strip, and as he had finished in fourth position in 2005, he was sold to Ho. Ho immediately changed his name to Viva Pataca, as the currency in Macau is pataca.
On 1 January 2006, Viva Pataca made his debut in Hong Kong at the Sha Tin Racecourse, where he finished third in the Chang Jiang Handicap, but redeemed himself in the New Asia Road Handicap two weeks later, when he and jockey Christophe Soumillon rode to victory. His trainer, John Moore, then made the decision to run him in a Group One event that March, the Hong Kong Derby, which Viva Pataca won comfortably. Some of his most spectacular victories included the Silver Tankard Stakes (2004), the Hong Kong Derby (2006), Hong Kong Champions and Charter Cup (2006, 2007 and 2009), Hong Kong Gold Cup (2008 and 2009) and the Queen Elizabeth II Cup (2007 and 2010). He also won a few awards along the way, such as the Hong Kong Champion Stayer (2006, 2007, 2008 and 2009), the Hong Kong Champion Middle Distance Horse (2007, 2008 and 2009) and the Hong Kong Horse of the Year in 2009.
Now aged nine, John Moore has decided to allow this magnificent horse to retire gracefully at the top of his game. Moore believes that after all he has done for him and his owner, he deserves to retire with respect and dignity. Arrangements are being made for the gelding to be moved to Muskoka Farm, which is located next to the Hawkesbury River in Sydney, to live out the rest of his years in peace and beauty.