Tough Mission for Lor’s four-year-old in Group 2 Chairman’s Trophy

Mission Tycoon is accustomed to delivering surprises. Source: HKJC

Mission Tycoon will carry the four-year-old banner against the imperious Beauty Generation in the Group 2 Chairman’s Trophy (1600m) at Sha Tin on Sunday, 7 April with a view to a first Group 1 test against the same opponent at the end of the month.

“If he runs well we know we can go to the Champions Mile,” trainer Frankie Lor said, adding, “I think he should be ok against this opposition.”

The Written Tycoon gelding out-raced his 204/1 odds when second to stablemate Furore in the Hong Kong Classic Mile (1600m) in January; he did it again in the Hong Kong Classic Cup (1800m) one month later, winning the second leg at 91/1.

Those long-odds shocks would pale though should Mission Tycoon defeat Beauty Generation on Sunday. Lor does not expect that outcome against a rare champion but he does anticipate an improvement on the Australian import’s 11th behind Furore in the BMW Hong Kong Derby (2000m) last time.

“I think his form from the four-year-old series is good,” the handler said. “His rating means that we have to try him in this race, but of course he now has to face the older horses, so it will not be easy. I know Beauty Generation is there but we must try.”


Lor believes the drop back to a mile will suit his charge, who started the current campaign over 1200m on the Sha Tin dirt track.

“It looked like 2000 metres was just a little bit too far for him last time but also the slow pace did not help him to find a rhythm,” Lor said of the Derby run.

“It’s difficult to tell if he’s still improving or not,” he added, “but now that he’s back to a mile we will learn more, I think.”

Sunday’s mile contest is the key lead-up to the Group 1 FWD Champions Mile on FWD Champions Day (28 April).

Beauty Generation’s last defeat came in this Group 2 race 12 months ago and trainer John Moore’s charge has since put together a seven-race unbeaten sequence, and climbed to the top of the world rankings.

The Chairman’s Trophy also features Pakistan Star, having his first start for trainer Paul O’Sullivan, as well as the high-class Conte from the John Size yard and Caspar Fownes’ emerging talent Rise High.

The weekend action also includes the Group 2 Sprint Cup (1200m), in which Hong Kong’s two highest-rated sprinters Mr Stunning and Beat The Clock will compete.

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