The winning connections smile for the cameras after the race
©Hong Kong Jockey Club
By Andrew Hawkins
Beauty Generation bolstered his position at the top of the jurisdiction’s sprinter-miler ranks today (Sunday, 25 February), taking the G1 Queen’s Silver Jubilee Cup (1400m) at Sha Tin.
The John Moore-trained five-year-old, ridden by Zac Purton, settled outside leader Peniaphobia in the early stages of the HK$10 million feature before assuming the lead entering the straight. The gelding was joined on his inside by the Joao Moreira-ridden Beat The Clock approaching the 100m, but Beauty Generation was stoic to the line, holding off the favourite to score by a head.
“He was headed, but he waits for the other horses to come to him a little bit,” Purton said. “He gives a bit of a kick and then he just wanders. I think I have Joao to thank, though. He snuck up on my inside, quiet as a church mouse, but as he got on level terms, he roared at his horse – but my horse kicked!”
Beauty Generation was originally purchased as a BMW Hong Kong Derby horse by Moore and was campaigned over further as a four-year-old last season. However, he did boast a pre-import placing in the 2016 G2 Hobartville Stakes (1400m) behind G1 winners Press Statement and Le Romain, suggesting he could have a future over shorter trips.
Moore decided to give Beauty Generation his chance as a miler this term, though, and since his first-up win in the G3 Celebration Cup Handicap (1400m) in October, he has won three of his five starts, including the G1 LONGINES Hong Kong Mile.
“He’s very versatile, isn’t he?” Moore said. “He was one of our Derby horses and that’s what we thought he’d be, but at the beginning of this season I approached (owner) Patrick (Kwok) and said, ‘I’m going to make a miler of him,’ and we did. We have put the speed into him and he’s kicked on, he’s come back to 1400m and he’s won today so I’ve been proven right – and I think Patrick is still scratching his head and wondering how we’ve done it.”
Beauty Generation was Moore’s seventh Queen’s Silver Jubilee Cup winner, after Helene Paragon (2017), Able Friend (2015), Happy Zero (2010), Joyful Winner (2006, 2007) and Goggles (2002).
It was the first time that Purton had been aboard Beauty Generation on raceday since he finished a disappointing eighth in the G3 Queen Mother Memorial Cup Handicap (2400m) in April last year. The rider had previously scored wins over 1600m and 2200m aboard the son of Road To Rock, but this season, Derek Leung had been his regular pilot.
“He’s definitely surprised us all at the level he’s got to, but I did say to John last season that I thought he’d be a better horse next season,” said Purton, who won four races on the Sha Tin card. “I think he’s proven that he’s a 1400m to 1600m horse, somewhere around that range just seems to suit him. He gets out, he makes all, he’s got that high cruising speed and he can kick.”
Moore said that Beauty Generation had been invited for the G1 Dubai Turf (1800m) at Meydan on 31 March, but that a trip abroad remained unlikely for the five-year-old.
“He’s been (invited), but I’d have to speak to Patrick and his father about this horse and whether they want to travel or not,” he said. “That’s probably not a great chance, so he will probably have one run before the Champions Mile, but he would be a good hope over the 1800m in Dubai.”
Moreira said that Beat The Clock was still on an upward spiral and that he still held high hopes for John Size’s galloper.
“He was beaten by a better horse this time,” Moreira said. “He’s an up-and-coming type, he ran really well and I was extremely happy with how he went. He just did a few things wrong, particularly in the last furlong, which cost him the win today, but if he improves, he will be one of the best sprinters next season.”
Second favourite Fifty Fifty finished third under Karis Teetan, with G1-winning milers Giant Treasure and Beauty Only showing a hint of their best form in fourth and fifth respectively.
The day’s other feature saw Purton in the winners’ circle again, steering the Tony Cruz-trained Time Warp to a game victory in the G1 Citi Hong Kong Gold Cup (2000m).
Racing returns to Sha Tin on Wednesday night (28 February).ar he just seemed to stay in the same spot,” said jockey Matthew Chadwick.
Time Warp’s win was Purton’s second in the race following Military Attack in 2013, while Cruz landed the Cup previously with California Memory (2011), Perfect Partner (2005), Bullish Luck (2004) and Deauville (1997).
Purton took the day’s other Group 1 feature, the Queen’s Silver Jubilee Cup (1400m) as he notched a four-timer. The rider landed his second HK$10 million contest within less than an hour atop the Moore-trained Beauty Generation, winner of the G1 LONGINES Hong Kong Mile in December.
Hong Kong racing continues with a night meeting at Sha Tin on Wednesday, 28 February.