Records aplenty fell as Hong Kong’s current racing sensation and the world’s highest rated active racehorse Beauty Generation literally ambled his way to victory in today’s (Sunday, 28 April) HK$18 million G1 FWD Champions Mile at Sha Tin.
Jockey Zac Purton barely moved a muscle on the six-year-old superstar who led throughout in an eased down length and a half win which trainer John Moore accurately described as ‘facile’.
It was a ninth straight win for this remarkable racehorse and an eighth victory this season bettering the previous best one season tally of seven shared by Entrapment and Ambitious Dragon.
He also claimed Viva Pataca’s prize money earnings record (in Hong Kong) with today’s cheque taking his tally to HK$84,770,000 – about HK$1.5 million above the tally garnered by Viva Pataca who was also trained by Moore and whose final win came at this meeting, in the QEII Cup, in 2010.
Beauty Generation last year became just the fourth horse to complete the Group 1 Hong Kong Mile and Champions Mile double in the same season – and those to precede him were widely acclaimed as champion performers of their time – Maurice (2015/16), Able Friend (2014/15) and Good Ba Ba (2007/08).
Now he stands alone as the only horse to do it twice as he becomes, seemingly, invincible in Hong Kong where his sustained winning run has propelled him to such a high international rating (127).
“It’s what we expected him to do today,” said Purton, “he was a little bit fitter. When he’s out in front like that mid race and there’s nothing around pushing him, he just floats a little bit so my job was to try to keep him rolling and let him do the rest.
“I’d like to think so,” Purton said when asked whether the horse would have more in reserve for a next run, “John wanted me to give him a bit of a push today but….”
And in terms of the ease of today’s win, Purton added: “It’s hard to say how much more he’s got there but he did his job and that’s all you can do.”
Trainer Moore acknowledged the horse’s momentous achievements and did not rule out the possibility of heading to Japan for the G1 Yasuda Kinen on 2 June.
“Definitely, it’s an amazing achievement,” he said of today’s win, “for the stable and all the staff to be able to keep him up and sustain his fitness level to be able to win these races in such a facile fashion. And thanks to Hong Kong that we’ve had a champion in our midst and we’ve still got a champion miler and the whole world knows we’ve got one hell of a miler over here.
“I’d like to go to Japan but of course it is the owner’s call. Patrick (Kwok) and his father (Simon) will make the decision in time. As I said it was a facile win today and I don’t think it took much out of him in the sense of it being such a long season and I still think there’s a lot left in the tank. Let’s go back to the drawing board and have a talk over dinner.”
Moore said the owners have “set other goals” but made it clear he would be keen to have Beauty Generation prove himself beyond his home shores. “The owners would like to see him break Silent Witness’ record of 17 straights win. More pressure on me. I take two heart tablets a day.
“To have him in the yard is any trainer’s dream but if we go to Japan to take on the Japanese armada that will be the real telling factor in his career,” he added.
Purton has now ridden 21 Group 1 winners in Hong Kong, one shy of Gerald Mosse’s record.
Best of the vanquished was the Tony Millard-trained Singapore Sling. “It was a very good run,” Millard said, “today is what he showed us last year. He’s come back to himself.
“We know 1600 metres is not quite his trip, he’s more an 1800-metre horse. The options are open now, we’ve already been invited to the Yasuda Kinen or we go to Singapore but it’s whatever the boss wants to do, so we leave it up to him. This is as good as we know he is and he was making up a lot of ground towards the end, which we thought he would. He ran a fantastic race.”