Beauty Generation showed all his class to record victory in the Chairman’s Trophy at Sha Tin.
The highest-rated miler in the world, John Moore’s superstar returned to winning ways at Group One level last time out and was sent off second-favourite for this Group Two assignment behind Waikuku – who had beaten him the last four times they had met.
Enjoying the perfect trip under Zac Purton on the shoulder of leader Ka Ying Star, with Waikuku similarly well placed on the rail, Beauty Generation turned for home full of running.
Purton had still not moved a furlong and a half out and when he did his mount found plenty without him having to get overly serious, always holding Ka Ying Star and Southern Legend. Waikuku was disappointing, beating only one home.
Moore now has his sights set on the Champions Mile back at Sha Tin on April 26 – a race that could be Beauty Generation’s swansong.
He said: “He’s done that nicely leading into the Champions Mile. He’s 100 per cent right now, so I’ve just got to carry that through the next three weeks.
“It was a very nice win, the tempo was absolutely perfect and everything went to plan. My fellow wasn’t hit, it was hands and heels, so it’s a good sign for the Champions Mile – everything is positive.
“One thing I like – when Zac got off he said when they came on him, he showed some of his old fighting heart – he said he just knuckled down, he kicked and if the old boy is feeling in that sort of mood coming to the Champions Mile he has to be right there.
“He couldn’t have blown a match out, there’s no improvement in him, we have him as fit as we can get him.”
A delighted Purton said: “I suppose the most pleasing part was at the 200-metre mark when they challenged him and he fought them off. He’s got a little bit of spark about him again.”
The John Size-trained Waikuku was having his first start since January, and jockey Joao Moreira said: “I think he probably felt the long space between runs because he put on a bit of condition. He wasn’t able to finish off the race, he was weakening.”
As well as Waikuku, Beauty Generation could find BMW Hong Kong Derby winner Golden Sixty in opposition in the Champions Mile – a prospect Moore is not taking lightly.
He said: “Golden Sixty is an exceptional racehorse on the up. He’s got age on his side, he hits the line seriously strongly, so it’s making for a great race and that’s what the world wants to see.
“He’s the new boy on the block and now he’s got to do it but I have to say, he puts a bit of fright into the team.”