Hong Kong Diary

Hong Kong star Beauty Generation made no mistake on his return earlier in the week while Aethero lost his unbeaten record. News on those, and more, ahead of Sha Tin's Sunday card.

  • Friday 04 October
  • Blog
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If they can’t beat John Moore’s gelding getting a stone or more in handicaps, how will they beat him at levels when the Group 1 contests come around?

That was the question as the sun set on a baking day at Sha Tin on Tuesday but Hong Kong superstar Beauty Generation still has one more handicap problem to solve when he bids for a third successive success in the Oriental Watch Sha Tin Trophy on October 20th.

There is more than one way of looking at Beauty Generation’s third win in the Celebration Cup.

On the one hand, he claimed his third Sha Tin track record without much fuss, never having to feel Zac Purton’s whip as he maintained a clear advantage close home.

However, the placed horses Ka Ying Star and Waikuku were both well out of the handicap and anything other than a decisive success would have come as an anti-climax.

Hong Kong’s official handicappers took the curious decision of raising Beauty Generation to a mark of 138 – level with the mighty Able Friend’s career high – on the back of this tenth consecutive success.

The fact that Able Friend was turned over on all of his six subsequent runs after scaling the 138 peak on his reappearance four years ago is of limited relevance to Beauty Generation.

However, it is worth noting that Beauty Generation will be conceding 20lb to at least one dangerous rival when bids for a third Oriental Watch Sha Tin Trophy.

Singapore Sling emerged in top shape after a lengthy break and ran Beauty Generation to just half a length in the corresponding race last year and the canny Tony Millard can be relied on to have him in similar condition when the pair bang heads again on October 20th.


Purton has always been adept at riding the rails in races and the Champion Jockey is doing so all over Hong Kong at present thanks to a historic city tram whizzing around town sporting his dapper likeness.

Commonly known as Ding Dings because of the noise they make when about to depart, the electric trams have been transporting residents and visitors since 1904 with a terminus on the home turn of Happy Valley racecourse and a special Party Tram available to hire for those who want to see the sights while living it up with friends.

Purton’s tram is part of the publicity drive for the Oriental Watch Sha Tin Trophy but does he get to ride free on one of his safer conveyances?

“All day, every day” is his quickfire response. Meanwhile, the rest of us have to pay a flat rate of around 25p for the privilege.


Moore suffered a setback later on Tuesday’s card when his exciting young sprinter Aethero lost his unbeaten record after a headstrong display under Purton in the finale but is hoping the addition of Joao Moreira and a return to 5f will help him get back on track at Sha Tin next weekend.

A decisive win there would set Aethero firmly back on the road towards Group races, but in order to do so he will need to master another of Hong Kong’s most exciting young horses.

Ricky Yiu is no stranger to training destructive sprinters – his former champion Sacred Kingdom has held the Sha Tin 5f record of 54.7s for 12 years now – and Voyage Warrior is the latest.

The flashy chestnut won three of his four starts last term and an explosive all-weather trial on Friday morning suggests he is ready to set Aethero a real target next Saturday.


A strong Tuesday undercard at Sha Tin showcased a handful of improvers and also paid a compliment to a highly progressive horse who was resting in his box just a few hundred yards away.

Golden Sixty is the horse in question and the Shanghai Handicap gave his reappearance win a very solid look.

Francis Lui’s gelding quickened past Mr Croissant and New Asia Sunrise in the manner of a very promising young horse under Vincent Ho at Sha Tin last month.

The placed horses were in the money again when finishing first and third on National Day and Golden Sixty will deserve maximum respect when he tries to make it five wins from six starts on his next appearance.

Hong Kong Diary
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