Beauty Generation brushed aside his rivals to win the Gr.2 Chairman’s Trophy (1600m) at Sha Tin on Sunday setting up the prospect of an unprecedented third victory in the Gr.1 Champions Mile (1600m) at the end of the month.
The New Zealand-bred gelding’s success was his 18th as a Hong Kong-based galloper, matching the career tally of Silent Witness, and pushed his own record prizemoney haul past HK$100 million.
“He’s done that nicely leading into the Champions Mile,” trainer John Moore said. “He’s 100 percent right now, so I’ve just got to carry that through the next three weeks.
“It was a very nice win, the tempo was absolutely perfect and everything went to plan. My fellow wasn’t hit, it was hands and heels, so it’s a good sign for the Champions Mile – everything is positive.”
The mile feature was billed as a match race between Beauty Generation and the circuit’s rising mile star, Waikuku, with the latter having defeated the former the last four times they had met.
But Waikuku failed to show anything like the dash that sealed the Gr.1 Stewards’ Cup (1600m) in January. While Beauty Generation relished a pace-shadowing run on the rain-softened turf, his rival looked less than comfortable and found nothing when pressure was applied.
“He’s got soft track form,” Moore said of the winner. “The feet on him, big feet, and I think for an older guy like that, just that little bit of cushion does him a world of good – he loved it.”
Moore was buoyed by jockey Zac Purton’s post-race comments on the dual Hong Kong Horse of the Year.
“One thing I like – when Zac got off he said when they came on him, he showed some of his old fighting heart,” Moore said.
“He said he just knuckled down, he kicked and if the old boy is feeling in that sort of mood coming to the Champions Mile he has to be right there.
“He couldn’t have blown a match out, there’s no improvement in him, we have him as fit as we can get him.”
Purton was delighted with the horse he has now paired with for 15 of 18 wins, including seven of his eight at the highest level.
“I suppose the most pleasing part was at the 200m mark when they challenged him and he fought them off. He’s got a little bit of spark about him again,” Purton said.
Beauty Generation was bred by Greg Tomlinson under his Nearco Stud banner and was purchased out of Highden Park’s 2014 New Zealand Bloodstock Select Yearling Sale draft by Kylie Bax for $60,000.
He was initially raced under the name Montaigne for trainer Anthony Cummings in Australia and placed in the Gr.1 Rosehill Guineas (1600m), Gr.2 Hobartville Stakes (1400m) before his sale to Hong Kong.