Beauty Generation will step out for his first run of this campaign in the Gr.3 Celebration Cup Handicap on Monday, 1 October, with trainer John Moore pointing his stable star along the same route that led to last season’s Horse of the Year title.
That path included a first-up victory in this 1400-metre contest and the crack miler warmed up for an attempt at a repeat win with a piece of work on the turf at Sha Tin on Thursday.
“He’s pulled up good, hasn’t he? He’s recovered very quickly,” Moore said as he observed the circling six-year-old in the sand yard post-gallop.
“He went down the back from the 1800-metre start and he’s coming along nicely. Judging by the way he almost ran the mafoo through the fence before his work just now, he looks like he just wants to get off the mark already.”
That said, Moore was quick to stress that his method at this time of year is to draw gradual improvement from his top gallopers; building them up through a three-race preparation into December’s Group 1 LONGINES Hong Kong International Races.
That approach reaped a rich return last term when Beauty Generation followed his Celebration Cup score with success in the Gr.2 Oriental Watch Sha Tin Trophy (1600m); a solid placed effort in the Gr.2 BOCHK Jockey Club Mile (1600m) proved to be a perfect step-up to a triumph in “the big one,” the Gr.1 LONGINES Hong Kong Mile.
“He’ll go 1400 (metres), 1600 (metres), 1600 (metres) and then the Hong Kong Mile again,” Moore confirmed. “It’s the same path as last season but we can now prep him in such a way that he can peak on 9 December, whereas last year it was trial and error, trying to find out whether my plan to make him into a top miler would pay off. And it did – he was Horse of the Year!”
Beauty Generation rounded off last season with a win in the Gr.1 Champions Mile at the course and distance. But with 133lb top-weight to shoulder on Monday and barrier 11 of 14 to contend with, the handler is not expecting fireworks from his star.
“It’s not as if we’re having him primed to win first-up, although he might still be capable of that, he’s very genuine,” he said. “The target is for a repeat win in December, so if he comes online for the trial, the Jockey Club Mile in November, then good. It’s all about targeting.” -HKJC