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Able Friend Unable To Stay Unbeaten

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Able Friend was expected to double his winning career tally for Australian trainer, John Moore, on Sunday but was beaten after going off the 1.7 favourite at Sha Tin in the Hong Kong Classic Cup.

Moore chose the local Group One on Sunday's card as his latest test after he had scored on debut last month there.

It was his first attempt over 1600m, in which he found Designs On Rome too good for him on the day as he had to settle for just over a length behind the younger runner.

Able Friend had previously beaten the same horse on his debut over the shorter distance on January 19. On that occasion, it was Moore's runner who won the battle in the final few meters by half a length.

Designs On Rome looked to have appreciated the step up in trip yesterday in only his second start outside of Europe.

The four-year old had five outings in Ireland when he was based in Patrick Flynn's stable as a juvenile before making the switch in continents.

After two unsuccessful starts, he broke his maiden at Naas when going off at 5.5 in the racing betting in a 13 runner field. It included Dermot Weld's favourite, Mouteab, who was available at 4.0.

Designs On Rome's final run in Ireland was in the Group One Goffs Vincent O'Brien Stakes over 1400m. He chased home Europe's leading colt, Dawn Approach, at racing live betting odds of 29.0 to finish second and earn his connections over €40,000 in prize money.

The Irish bred horse did not run as a three-year old in 2013 but returned to action last month in Hong Kong for Moore. The Australian is likely to keep him over the same trip for a shot at further Group One success in 2014.