THE John Moore-trained Collection threw down the gauntlet to some of the world’s best horses targeting next month's Cathay Pacific Hong Kong Cup with an awesome display in Cathay Pacific International Cup Trial at Sha Tin on Sunday.

Last season's Mercedes-Benz Hong Kong Derby winner could scarcely have been more impressive landing this key trial as he scored by two lengths from outsider Unique Jewellery and the consistent Mr Medici.

The fancied pair, Thumbs Up and Viva Pataca (a stablemate of the winner) finished fourth and seventh respectively.

Weichong Marwing rode Collection making it the third time in six months the South African had profited from stable retained jockey Darren Beadman opting for another mount in a Group race.

“I don't envy the position Darren is in when he has to make these sort of decisions. He chose Viva Pataca and who would blame him? It’s an impossible choice. I have now won on both of these horses and I know how good they are.”

Marwing settled Collection in midfield behind a steady pace and cut loose on the Peintre Celebre gelding just before the turn for home to lead in a twinkling and from the furlong pole the identity of the winner was beyond question.

Looking ahead to Hong Kong's richest race next month, Marwing added: “When it comes to the International Cup the pace will be on a little more and that will be to Collection's advantage.

“I think what you saw today is a horse that is about 80 per cent fit. I know what it takes to win these international races and this horse - and also Viva Pataca - they will really make their presence felt for Hong Kong."

In the lead-up to the International Trial, Moore was anxious that Collection had ‘done too much’ in a piece of work under Marwing on Tuesday so was pleasantly surprised by the outcome.

“I felt the edge might have been taken off him. I backed off him after that gallop the other day but I did go into the race today with some reservations. What a turn of foot he has! He is going in the right direction for the Cup and I expect he will be the one to beat,” Moore said.

“As for Viva Pataca, he got back a little further than I wanted. He was at the rear and would have had to run an unbelievable time home to be in it. But he will be a big chance in the Cathay Pacific Hong Kong Vase next month. He will definitely be in the first three then.”

A carnival atmosphere reigned as the Hong Kong Jockey Club celebrated its 125th anniversary race day in grand style at Sha Tin when a feast of world class racing was capped by top local entertainers and pyrotechnics display to regale the on-course attendance in excess of 38,000.

The Hong Kong Jockey Club 125th Anniversary Cup produced a thrilling climax as Always Something, ridden by perennial champion jockey Douglas Whyte on his 38th birthday, got up in the final strides to deny the odds-on favourite, Taverner, Royal Doctor and Glenealy Elite.