Golden Sixty and Beauty Generation meet again in Sunday’s Oriental Watch Sha Tin Trophy in Hong Kong.
Beauty Generation had to give best to the emerging star of Hong Kong racing when they met three weeks ago, although he was giving away plenty of weight and was closing in close home.
Golden Sixty arrives on an eight-race winning streak and perhaps crucially still enjoys a hefty pull at the weights for trainer Francis Lui, albeit 7lb less than when they last met.
“He’s good, he’s come on from last start when it was his first-up run from the break and this time he’s condition has improved,” said Lui on Friday.
“He’s good, he galloped on the grass and because of the typhoon it was delayed until Wednesday, and also this morning he had a good canter around the big track.
“I have my fingers crossed, it’s hard to say that I’m confident as I’m just trying my best – I don’t want to put too much pressure on myself.”
Big-race jockey Zac Purton is hopeful Beauty Generation can close the gap on 10lb better terms.
“There’s no doubt it’s going to be a much more even contest, he still has the advantage at the weights but I think it’ll be interesting this time,” said Purton.
Beauty Generation is also looking to set a new Hong Kong record of 19 wins. He is currently tied on 18 with Silent Witness and Super Win.
“I thought it was a good effort last time, he’s had such a long time off that he was a little bit rusty and it took him a little bit of time early on in the race to get into his rhythm, it’s not his normal racing pattern,” said Purton.
“I thought he handled it really well – it was a bit of a stop-start run race and those horses made that early move and got first run on him but once he was able to sort of get himself into the clear I thought he ran a good race.
“He’s just a little bit sluggish in his work, in his trial and in that race, but he’s getting a little bit sharper as time goes on. He’s an older horse now so it’s going to take that little bit of extra time for him to switch back on.
“But he’s getting there and I think we’ll see a different horse this weekend and I think he’ll continue to improve after this run.”