Beauty Generation put himself into the picture for Hong Kong Horse of the Year honours after confirming his place as the best 1600m horse in town with victory in the G1 Champions Mile at Sha Tin today (Sunday, 29 April).
The win in the HK$18 million feature was the John Moore-trained Beauty Generation’s third Group 1 score of the season, following his wins in December’s Hong Kong Mile and the Queen’s Silver Jubilee Cup over 1400m in February.
In completing the Hong Kong Mile-Champions Mile double, Beauty Generation joined an elite group of horses: Good Ba Ba (2007/08), Able Friend (2014/15) and Maurice (2015/16) were the only three to have achieved the feat before today.
“I’m not sure I’d put him in the same group as those horses, but he is a good horse and he has done everything right,” said Moore, who claimed his sixth Champions Mile this decade and his seventh overall. “If he is able to get to the front, he is a real grinder at the very highest level. What more can he do than win races? He’s not brilliant like Able Friend, but he’s a top horse in his own way.”
Sent off the odds-on favourite in the field of eight, Beauty Generation jumped cleanly from gate one. Out of the barriers, though, rider Zac Purton had to bustle Beauty Generation along to assume his favoured front-running role with Pingwu Spark, Singapore Sling and Southern Legend all eyeing off the lead early.
“It wasn’t ideal that he didn’t really muster out of the gates like he normally does,” Purton said. “He didn’t really dwell, he just wasn’t that quick. I actually thought Pingwu Spark had the speed to cross me early and he was going to cross, but as he was coming, he seemed to spot something and shy and he lost his momentum. That allowed me to roll back underneath him and take control.
“That was a crucial part of the race and I feel that is where we won it. It meant that I could dictate from there, and I was always going to be hard to run down when I got out on the speed. He doesn’t really quicken but he lengthens and that’s when he’s hard to run down.”