Horse Racing
Beauty Joy limbers up for Group 2 Chairman’s Trophy test

By Declan Schuster
28/03/2023 15:05

Beauty Joy stretches out under Hugh Bowman.
Beauty Joy stretches out under Hugh Bowman.

Toppling California Spangle in Sunday week’s (9 April) HK$5 million G2 Chairman’s Trophy (1600m) at Sha Tin will be a tough task, however, one that Beauty Joy is well prepared for, according to jockey Hugh Bowman after the chestnut stretched out in a barrier trial this morning (Tuesday, 28 March).

The six-year-old broke cleanly, crossing the line third at Sha Tin in 1m 12.39s on dirt under Bowman as he builds towards the Chairman’s Trophy where he’ll be pitted against Group 1-winning stablemate California Spangle, Waikuku, Ka Ying Star, Money Catcher and more, while last year’s winner Golden Sixty didn’t feature among yesterday’s entries.

“He’s (Beauty Joy) always a place chance, I just don’t think he’s a good enough horse to beat California Spangle unless something happens – racing is racing and he’s a consistent horse,” Bowman said.

The winner of five races last season, including two at Group 3 level, Beauty Joy has been racing honestly up in grade, while the occasionally stubborn galloper can have a mind of his own at times, as seen in the 2022 G3 Premier Cup Handicap (1400m) when he gave up an enormous margin before charging to the unlikeliest of wins.

“He trialled well this morning, he’s a quirky horse – he likes to do things in his own terms as we know. He had a nice workout this morning.

“It’s his right level, the race he’s running in. He’s going to have to step up to win probably but he’s a very consistent horse and I enjoy riding him,” Bowman said.

Master Eight led the field home over 1200m on dirt this morning, while Cordyceps Six finished second under jockey Matthew Chadwick.

Beauty Joy wins the 2022 G3 Premier Cup Handicap (1400m).

“He had a nice blow when he pulled up, so that satisfied me that he did a bit of work and recovered well,” Bowman said. “It’s a perfect distance for him (1600m), so that’s a plus and he’ll run well again as he always does.”

The Kwok family – who own Beauty Joy – have tasted success in this race recently following the heroics of two-time winners Beauty Only (2016 & 2018) and Beauty Generation (2019 & 2020).

Bowman will ride Courier Wonder in the HK$5 million G2 Sprint Cup (1200m) on 9 April, while looking to more immediate targets, he hops aboard Computer Patch in the Class 2 Tung Wan Handicap (1200m) at Sha Tin’s midweek all-dirt programme.

“It does look a tough race but he’s shown his class for this level of race. He ought to be competitive, even with a bit of weight,” Bowman said.

Computer Patch is yet to race on Hong Kong’s dirt course across his career. He placed second to Wellington in the 2022 G1 Chairman’s Sprint Prize (1200m) and brings imposing form into Wednesday night’s (29 March) HK$2.64 million feature. 

Richard Gibson remains pleased with both Wellington and Cordyceps Six as the pair readies for the Sprint Cup ahead of FWD Champions Day (30 April) targets.

“Both are in good shape. I don’t think he (Wellington) was as settled over 1400 metres as he was last time. So, we’ll try and get our revenge on Lucky Sweynesse,” Gibson said.

Cordyceps Six clocked 1m 12.39s on the dirt this morning in second spot ahead of Beauty Joy.

Wednesday’s (29 March) eight-race all-dirt fixture kicks off at 7.15pm with the Class 5 Hap Mun Bay Handicap (1200m).