John Moore believes Beauty Generation must win Sunday’s FWD Champions Mile at Sha Tin if he is to become the first horse to land three successive Horse of the Year titles in Hong Kong.
The title is a prestigious prize, comparable to an Eclipse Award in America, with only two horses – River Verdon and Silver Linings – having won it three times, although not in successive seasons.
Beauty Generation stands on the verge of bringing up an unprecedented hat-trick, but with Golden Sixty, who is unbeaten in seven starts this campaign, and Exultant among others also in with a shout, Moore thinks nothing less than a win will do at the weekend.
He said: “If Beauty Generation doesn’t win the Champions Mile, I’d think it might swing Golden Sixty’s way
“I think he’s in with a serious chance of winning the Champions Mile and getting Horse of the Year for a third time.
“He’s the old boy on the block so when it’s a tight call he just might get the vote because, allied to his achievements, he’s a public favourite and there’s that admiration for him.”
Moore’s stable stars have collected nine titles in all, including each of the last seven seasons. His big-name Horse of the Year victors include Viva Pataca, Able Friend and Designs On Rome, as well as Beauty Generation.
“It holds a lot of kudos. The Kwok family (owners), with what they’ve put into racing, I think they’d be thrilled if he won a third Horse of the Year and he’ll deserve it if he wins on Sunday.”
Beauty Generation has won the Champions Mile for the past two seasons and was unbeaten in eight starts in the 2018/19 campaign.
However, the seven-year-old has endured mixed fortunes this term, winning three of his seven starts, including the Group One Queen’s Silver Jubilee Cup in February.
Moore had expected BMW Derby hero Golden Sixty to take on his established star on Champions Day, but connections initially indicated they would target the QEII Cup on the same card before opting to bypass the meeting altogether.
Moore added: “We know Golden Sixty hasn’t met him and I was expecting to see them take on each other in the Champions Mile but they chose to consider the QEII Cup and now they’re taking a step back to wait for next season, which I must confess took a bit of sweat away from my brow!
“I do think Golden Sixty is seriously talented and he would have run a big race against Beauty Generation had he run in the mile. But that’s not to be.”