If any horse can stop Beauty Generation from winning a record third FWD G1 Champions Mile at Sha Tin on Sunday, 26 April, the form book suggests it’s most likely to be Waikuku.
“He’s a very good horse and he has done well already this season so there’s no doubt he’s a winning chance,” jockey Joao Moreira said.
The Irish import has finished ahead of the champion four times this season, notably when successful in the G1 Stewards’ Cup (1600m) and G2 Jockey Club Mile, and again when second over the big horse’s third in the G1 LONGINES Hong Kong Mile; but book-ending those results are two telling wins in the Beauty Generation ledger.
On the front end is the Horse of the Year’s demolition of the John Size-trained Waikuku and all others in the G3 Celebration Cup Handicap (1400m), carrying top-weight and conceding upwards of 14lb to his rivals. The latest clash, in the G2 Chairman’s Trophy (1600m), was supposed to be a match between the two following Beauty Generation’s renaissance victory in the G1 Queen’s Silver Jubilee Cup (1400m) – but it was one-sided as Waikuku faltered to a lacklustre sixth.
“I hope he can bounce back,” Moreira said. “My conversation with John Size lately has been that usually when good horses do what he has done they eventually come to a flat spot and it could be the reason for his poor run last start.”