THE French drew first blood in the 2009 Cathay Pacific Hong Kong International Races when the filly Daryakana produced a big finishing burst to win the Cathay Pacific Hong Kong Vase, from Spanish Moon, at Sha Tin on Sunday.

The filly, owned by His Highness the Aga Khan, provided trainer Alain de Royer-Dupre with his second CXHKIR success following his win in the 2006 CXHK Cup with the mare Pride.

"It seems like I can only win with the fillies. For a three-year-old she travelled very well and when I saw her early in the week, I thought she was perfect. When she won her Group 2 at Longchamp I started to think of this race here. She will stay in training as a four-year-old," de Royer-Dupre said.

Winning jockey Gerald Mosse, who picked up the ride after Christophe Lemaire's Japan Cup suspension, now boasts six winners at this meeting and he timed his run to perfection after Daryakana was last approaching the home turn. Mosse's tally of wins is only matched by Olivier Peslier.

"I had a lot of horse under me and the pace was ok so I was happy to sit at the back. I knew she had a great turn of foot and I was always happy in the straight that I would get there. I feel a bit sad for my friend (Lemaire) but that happens in racing. This filly has a heart bigger than herself. She's among the best I've ridden,' Mosse said.

Daryakana, the least experienced runner in the race, remains unbeaten after five starts and continued the dominance of European trained horses in the race.

Spanish Moon was brave in running second after Ryan Moore was niggling at him as far as 800 metres from home. "We just got mugged on the line,' Moore said.

Francois Doumen, of Jim And Tonic fame here in Hong Kong, was delighted with the performance of Kasbah Bliss who rallied late to finish third after being under pressure a long way from home. "He was brave,' said Doumen of the horse who has combined flat and jumps racing successfully.

"He was held up on the last bend which is a bit of a shame because otherwise he could have accelerated earlier and that might have made the difference,' Doumen said.

Jaguar Mail, last year's third placegetter, was fourth while Cirrus Des Aigles may well have turned in the best run in the race to finish fifth after being wide throughout.

Youmzain, the Arc runner-up, disappointed. "It seems to be the story of his life. Disappointment. He was on and off the bridle down the far side and just never going well enough,' said trainer Mick Channon.


1st - Daryakana

Gerald Mosse, jockey:

"The pace was fast enough to help to take plenty of time in behind because I know she has a great turn of foot. I was able to gradually pick them up and she flew in the final 100m to lead on the line. She is a superb long distance filly. She's not the biggest, but she's all heart."

Alain de Royer-Dupre, trainer:    

"We decided to bring he here when she quickened really well to win the Prix de Royallieu and it's great to win another big race in Hong Kong with another great filly after Pride in the Cup a few years ago."

2nd - Spanish Moon

Ryan Moore, jockey:

"He has run a great race, done nothing wrong. I got mugged on the line. There was no chance to fight back then. He has beaten everything else around him but the filly [Daryakana] came very wide and late and she was the one that was unexposed and open to improvement. But it's still a great run from my fellow who is a true Group 1 horse."

3rd - Kasbah Bliss

Thierry Thulliez, jockey

"He was held up at the last bend behind Youmzain which is a bit of shame because if he could have accelerated earlier and that would made a difference. It's the best race of his career."

4th - Jaguar Mail

Christophe Soumillon, jockey

"He ran well. I led at the top of the straight but it was tough. But he was better than his last run in Japan."

5th - Cirrus Des Aigles

Franck Blondel, jockey:

"I couldn't get in. He was wide most of the way and he was keen down the back straight. If he had been on the rails he would nearly have won."

6th - Viva Pataca

Darren Beadman, jockey

"He was very flat out there today. I just think he had too hard a run first up and that's taken its toll.'

7th - Thumbs Up

Brett Prebble, jockey

"He had every chance really. The winner has come from behind me."

8th - Jamesina

Jeff Lloyd, jockey

"He ran well. That's might be about as good as he can do at this level."

9th - Buccellati

William Buick, jockey

"Disappointing. I thought he could have done better than that. He just didn't seem to finish his race today."

10th - Youmzain

Kieren Fallon, jockey

"I was lucky to stand up at the point of the turn. I was sandwiched and that was it."

A disappointed Mick Channon, trainer, added: "That seems to be the story of his life. I don't think he really faces up to the visor."

11th -Packing Winner

Brett Doyle, jockey

"We had an easy enough run up front. But at this class they took him on too far out."

12th - Jackpot Delight

James Winks, jockey

"The pace suited and he had his chance. Just not good enough at this level."

13th - Black Mamba

Olivier Doleuze, jockey

"I had a great position but she stopped on me. We were beaten before the home turn."