Beadman makes winning return

Champion Australian jockey Darren Beadman made a successful comeback to riding when Hong Kong’s leading stayer Viva Pataca scored a surprise win at Sha Tin last night.

Darren Beadman2

Beadman was back in the saddle for the first time since he injured vertebra in his lower back when he landed on his tailbone after being thrown from a horse on October 12.

He was expected to be out of action for up to a month after spending three days in hospital but surprised doctors by making a rapid recovery.

Viva Pataca caught punters off guard in his seasonal debut when he stormed home from last to win the Group Three Mission Hills Sha Tin Trophy (1600m).

During the past two seasons of racing, Viva Pataca hasn’t won at a distance less than 2000 metres and he was ignored in betting as a 22/1 tote chance.

Trainer John Moore said the key to Viva Pataca’s first-up win was a 1600m barrier trial 12 days before the race.

"I seldom send my horses to a mile trial. My intention to do that this time was to get him fitter," he told the Hong Kong Jockey Club website.

"I am surprised to see him dominate like that. Beadman told me that he had a handful at the corner, and his acceleration was astonishing."

Viva Pataca will have his next start in the Cathay Pacific International Cup Trial head of his main goal, the Hong Kong Cup on December 14.