The Beauty Generation steamroller flattened all-comers again at Sha Tin on Sunday as Hong Kong's champion bagged a sixth career Group 1 success in the Queen's Silver Jubilee Cup (seven furlongs).
“It's just a repeat of what he's been doing all season,” trainer John Moore said as his charge was being led back to the turf for a victory photo-call.
Hong Kong's equal highest-rated (127) horse of all-time had just taken his season's tally to an impeccable six from six.
“Everyone's had a go at beating him,” the handler continued. “The little bit of hype around a couple of the other horses was fair but he just keeps doing it. He only needed one slap around the backside to get him to accelerate. It was another great ride by Zac (Purton) because before the corner you could see he was saying 'now I'm putting the revs up and you've got to chase me'.
“He's just too good and Zac's the composite horseman, he knows exactly what's going on.”
Beat The Clock was touted as the rival who might upset the six-year-old's unbeaten streak, which now stretches seven races, back to and including last season's G1 Champions Mile. The John Size-trained challenger, successful in the recent G1 Centenary Sprint Cup (six furlongs), was a head second to Hong Kong's Horse of the Year the last time they met, in this very race 12 months ago.
Joao Moreira's mount was drawn rail-side and the Brazilian tried to make use of that berth to make the 1.2 favorite work through the opening strides. Beauty Generation was unruffled, galloping on by to secure the forward position, rolling along in his customary fluid locomotion.
“It was easy for him,” Purton said. “Joao was always going to pull back and let me go and I just waited until he did that and rolled on. It was pretty straightforward; it was pretty easy.
“I just had to drag the sprint out of Beat The Clock, so I just made sure I did that and then the race was over.”
When Purton gave the signal at the turn into the straight, Beauty Generation increased his effort and powered for home. Beat The Clock attempted to challenge but this time his best was only enough to get to within a length and three quarters at the line. Beauty Generation stopped the clock at 1m 21.03s.
“It was such an honest run,” Moreira said of Beat The Clock. “He gave his very best but just wasn't able to beat the best horse in Hong Kong.”
A second Champions Mile at the end of April beckons for Beauty Generation if he can maintain his imperious form through an entire season. With the rigours of that task in mind, connections may decide to go straight there, bypassing the usual lead-in, the G2 Chairman's Trophy (1600m).
“I think the owner will be asking me to give him a bit of a break so he'll be having a week or so and then I plan to trial him over 1000 metres and then over a mile, and that should have him cherry ripe for the Champions Mile,” Moore said.
Owner Patrick Kwok is fixed on nailing that second Champions Mile to go with Beauty Generation's back-to-back wins in today's feature and the G1 LONGINES Hong Kong Mile.
“First things first, we are focused on the Champions Mile,” Kwok said. “We're not sure if we'll run him in the Group 2. After the Champions Mile we'll see how he is and then we'll decide about going to Japan for the Yasuda Kinen.
“The most important thing is the horse,” he continued “It's such a rare opportunity to have a horse like this so if we can have another season like this season, we'd take that. We'll look at his health and wellbeing before deciding whether we travel overseas: it's very difficult to go to Japan and it seems to not favour leaders but if he goes we'll be trying our best.”
The Size-trained Conte was three-lengths runner-up to Beauty Generation in last month's G1 Stewards' Cup (1600m) and was a length closer today.
“Going back to 1400 metres obviously allowed them to get a little bit closer to him, which was always going to be the case, but he's just in his own league at the moment,” Purton concluded.
Ryan Moore flew in to partner Conte and the three-time British champion jockey was pleased with the talented five-year-old.
“He ran super,” he said. “He tries very hard and I was very happy with him.”
Exultant won the day's other Group 1 feature, the Citi Hong Kong Gold Cup (2000m), while Mission Tycoon was the shock 91/1 winner of the second leg of the Four-Year-Old Classic Series, the Hong Kong Classic Cup (1800m).
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