Beauty Generation is among the star draws for a top-class Group 2 double-header at Sha Tin on Sunday, 8 April, with trainer John Moore looking to use the Chairman’s Trophy (1600m) as a step-up to Group 1 Champions Mile glory, and ultimately, he hopes, Horse of the Year honours.
“If he’s to win Horse of the Year he probably needs to win a Champions Mile, and if Time Warp doesn’t deliver in the (Audemars Piguet) QEII Cup, well then you’d think he’d have it,” the handler said during a break between barrier trials at Sha Tin this morning, Tuesday, 3 April.
Beauty Generation will face Time Warp in this weekend’s lead-up to those Group 1 tests. The talent-packed field of 10 is also set to include Pakistan Star, Fifty Fifty, Pingwu Spark, Beauty Only, Dinozzo, Western Express, Joyful Trinity and his own stable mate, the dual Group 1 winner Helene Paragon.
Moore is pleased with the Road To Rock five-year-old’s wellbeing going into the Chairman’s Trophy. But he offered a word of caution, too.
“He always runs a race, he jumps, he has speed, he’s right there,” he said, “but he hasn’t been squeezed because he’s been up for a long time this season and the target race is the Champions Mile. I haven’t put him to the grind.”
Douglas Whyte will take the race ride for the first time on Sunday. Zac Purton, a Group 1 winner last start atop the Patrick Kwok-owned bay, has opted to side with Time Warp, the horse he will likely partner in the APQEII Cup (2000m) at the end of the month.
“He’s not fully screwed down,” Moore said.
“We all know it’s a lead-in to the Champions Mile on the 29th. But he’s healthy, he’s maintaining his weight really nicely, and he’s genuine, so he’s going to always be competitive. And, the other thing is, a few others are in the same position as him, so the race is certainly there for the winning.”
The Australian import has been at the front rank of Hong Kong’s mile division this term with wins in the Group 1 LONGINES Hong Kong Mile, and, last time out, the Group 1 Queen’s Silver Jubilee Cup (1400m), among four from six runs.
In the latter, Beauty Generation rallied close home to repel Beat The Clock’s late thrust by a head.
“He fought last time – Zac said that (Joao) Moreira screaming at his horse really helped him because it scared him and he put another head on him!” Moore said.
The John Size-trained Beat The Clock will line up in the afternoon’s other Group 2 feature, the Sprint Cup (1200m), against Group 1-winning stablemate Mr Stunning. Size also has Amazing Kids among the race’s eight entries.