Beauty Generation faces a pivotal test in Sunday’s (19 January) G1 Stewards’ Cup (1600m) at Sha Tin with not only the direction of future assignments but also his status as Hong Kong’s best miler in the balance.
Trainer John Moore has his heart set on Beauty Generation enhancing his legacy as a world class galloper in the G1 Dubai Turf (1800m) at the end of March, but he knows that if he is to fulfil that dream the seven-year-old must put in a big run this weekend against the horse threatening to grasp away his crown, the John Size-trained Waikuku.
“Serious,” was how Moore described Waikuku’s threat.
“He’s the younger horse coming through the grades that looks like he might be special, and ‘the special one’ is diminished, he’s not the top horse he was and we put that down to the age factor; it’s nothing to do with soundness, he’s fine, he’s just getting older.”
There was a time, only three months ago in fact, when the champ was anything but diminished; when defeat was seen simply as something Beauty Generation habitually handed out to his routed rivals. As Moore knows though, time’s passage respects neither men nor horses and the seven-time G1 winner heads into the Stewards’ Cup off three deflating losses, latterly when third to Japan’s Admire Mars in the G1 LONGINES Hong Kong Mile, one place behind Waikuku.
But after those disappointments, the Beauty Generation camp is displaying renewed hope if not outright confidence.
“He’s definitely going to make a race of it, anyway,” Moore said.