Beauty Generation claimed the Hong Kong Horse of the Year award for the second year in a row at a sparkling ceremony held at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel last night, Friday, 12 July. A four-time Group 1 victor this term, Hong Kong’s superstar galloper was also named Champion Miler for the second consecutive year.
Beauty Generation is the eighth horse to win back-to-back Horse of the Year titles in Hong Kong’s professional era, joining other timeless heroes Silver Lining, Co-Tack, Quicken Away, River Verdon, Fairy King Prawn, Silent Witness and Ambitious Dragon.
John Moore’s stable star had a remarkable 2018/19 campaign in which he went unbeaten and registered a Hong Kong record of eight wins in a season. In addition, he set a new all-time prize money record of HK$84,770,000 and earned the equal-highest rating (127) ever achieved by a Hong Kong horse in the LONGINES World’s Best Racehorse Rankings. The Patrick Kwok-owned six-year-old also smashed the course record for 1600m at Sha Tin when he had to concede weight to all other rivals in the Group 2 BOCHK Wealth Management Jockey Club Mile.
The Champion Miler completed a clean sweep in all the Group 1 mile races this term, including going back-to-back in the big two for his division, the LONGINES Hong Kong Mile and the FWD Champions Mile. Zac Purton was in the saddle for every one of his races this term.
Meanwhile, Beauty Generation also secured the bulk of the public vote to claim the Most Popular Horse title.
The Tony Cruz-trained Exultant became the fifth horse after Indigenous, Precision, Vengeance Of Rain and Viva Pataca to be crowned both the Champion Middle-Distance Horse and the Champion Stayer in the same season.
The five-year-old Teofilo gelding proved that he too is a star of Hong Kong and world racing by winning three Group 1 races, the LONGINES Hong Kong Vase, Citi Hong Kong Gold Cup and Standard Chartered Champions & Chater Cup. He also won the Group 3 Centenary Vase with 132lb on his back and was a fine second in the Group 1 FWD QEII Cup.
Beat The Clock was named the season’s Champion Sprinter. The John Size-trained five-year-old was a dual Group 1 victor this term, claiming the Centenary Sprint Cup and the Chairman’s Sprint Prize. The Hinchinbrook gelding continued to be a model of consistency with two wins, two seconds and two thirds from just six starts this term, all at Group race level – he has placed in the first three in all of his 21 starts in Hong Kong.
The Size stable took the Champion Griffin Award too, with the three-year-old Champion’s Way receiving worthy recognition for securing six wins from seven starts. By the same sire as Beat The Clock, Champion’s Way achieved his career highlight to date in the Group 3 Lion Rock Trophy, defeating seasoned gallopers to achieve a rating of 108.
That high mark meant that Champion’s Way was also named the season’s Most Improved Horse. He started the campaign on a rating of 52 and rocketed 56 points up the rankings to end the campaign as a leading contender for next year’s Four-Year-Old Classic Series.
Zac Purton sealed the Champion Jockey title for a third time and was also elected the Most Popular Jockey of the Year. The Australian rider had a fantastic season, becoming only the second jockey to reach 1000 wins in Hong Kong. He also set a new single season prize money record, and could yet match or better Joao Moreira’s all-time record of 170 wins in a season at the 2018/19 season finale on Sunday, 14 July.
Lifetime Achievement Award, the season’s Champion Trainer award and the winner of the Tony Cruz Award for the season’s leading homegrown rider will be revealed and presented during racing at Sunday’s season finale at Sha Tin.
The Champion Awards Judging Panel announced the winners for the 2018/19 season during this evening’s presentation ceremony as follows:-
|Horse of the Year||Beauty Generation||Patrick Kwok Ho Chuen||John Moore|
|Champion Sprinter||Beat The Clock||Merrick Chung Wai Lik||John Size|
|Champion Miler||Beauty Generation||Patrick Kwok Ho Chuen||John Moore|
|Champion Middle-Distance Horse||Exultant||Eddie Wong Ming Chak & Wong Leung Sau Hing||Tony Cruz|
|Champion Stayer||Exultant||Eddie Wong Ming Chak & Wong Leung Sau Hing||Tony Cruz|
|Champion Griffin||Champion’s Way||Dr & Mrs Arthur Leung, Elaine Leung and Angela Leung||John Size|
|Most Improved Horse||Champion’s Way||Dr & Mrs Arthur Leung, Elaine Leung and Angela Leung||John Size|
|Most Popular Horse of the Year||Beauty Generation||Patrick Kwok Ho Chuen||John Moore|
|Most Popular Jockey of the Year||Zac Purton|