Japan On Radar For Beauty Generation

SA bred Singapore Sling runs fourth

Normality reigned in the Gr2 Chairman’s Trophy run over  mile at Sha Tin on Sunday – but there was nothing mundane about the brilliant Beauty Generation’s eighth straight win.

Hong Kong’s champion might have followed the blueprint that has served him so well in reaching high rank in the global standings – galloping to the fore and then rolling onward to victory – but there was no hint of “Beauty fatigue”, not a whiff of boredom at another bloodless triumph; not from the crowd and certainly not from the horse.

“Bored, this horse? Not at all,” trainer John Moore declared as the ring-side spectators cheered yet another picture beneath the winner’s arch with owner Patrick Kwok.

Beauty Generation flies home under Zac Purton – Singapore Sling (Karis Teetan) in the blue cap is fourth

“Romain (Clavreul – work rider) gives me his feedback, and, what I can see, the horse loves where he is and he doesn’t like getting beat. Even when he’s on the small track every morning, he wants to pass horses. He’s just amazing.”

That competitive instinct is so often manifest stable-side with a mean-spirited bite or lunge at his groom, Lau Wai-kit. Purton believes the horse just wants competition, to show he’s the boss.

“He loves racing. He wants to get out there and do it more often!” the rider said.

There was a strong suggestion in the champion jockey’s words that he does too. And who wouldn’t? Beauty Generation is a superstar at the peak of his abilities and the consensus after this latest triumph was that he should be as potent as ever in the Gr1 Champions Mile at the end of the month – after that, he could test his mettle internationally in Japan’s Gr1 Yasuda Kinen (1600m) in June.

Beauty Generation had this race in the bag when Purton shook his reins 300m out. The rider looked left for dangers approaching the 200m pole and saw Pakistan Star sprinting in pursuit; hands and heels sufficed to see off that rival; another glance with 100m to go; one more for surety inside the final 50m and Purton knew he was easily superior to the late-closing Eagle Way.

The competition was no match for Beauty Generation, even with the six-time G1 winner carrying a 5lb penalty – the day’s shock was left to Rattan, who upturned Mr Stunning and Beat The Clock in the earlier G2 Sprint Cup (1200m).

“Zac came in and said he’d improve for this,” Moore said. “We didn’t squeeze him too much for the run so there’ll be further improvement for the Champions Mile. That’s three weeks away and we’ll keep him ticking over.

“I might trial him; I might ask for a 1000-metre trial or something to top him off.”

Jockey Zac Purton in typical pose

Pakistan Star and Eagle Way will likely head to the G1 FWD QEII Cup on 28 April and another on that path is Dark Dream who put a BMW Hong Kong Derby fourth behind him with a smart score in the Class 1 Harlech Handicap (2000m).

Six of the Derby defeated lined up, including the John Size-trained runner-up Waikuku, but it was the Purton-ridden G1 Queensland Derby (2200m) winner who came out ahead.

Purton revealed that a strong breeze blowing down the back-straight made things that little bit tougher for his mount.

“He was good enough to get the job done,” the Australian said. “He had to carry extra weight and the one thing I was more concerned about was the wind.

“The headwind down the back-straight is really strong. Having to carry the extra weight – giving weight away to the other horses – it wasn’t going to be easy. To offset that I stayed well away from the rail and made Joao (Moreira) on Conte run into it as well. I thought, if I’ve got to run into it, he can join me and I’d take what I could out of him as well.

“He came into this race a little bit soft today,” he continued. “He had a soft trial and he hasn’t been screwed in his work so he was always going to improve on what he gave us today, so there’s more merit in the win than it may have looked. He went out there and did what we needed him to do.”

Stablemate Eagle Way rattled wide for second and jockey Umberto Rispoli was delighted.

“It was a massive run from the back, we know he is a horse who loves 2000 metres so that’s a nice effort at the mile; he was beaten by the champ, so a good performance,” he said.

Pakistan Star, having his first start for trainer Paul O’Sullivan, appeared as the main threat at the top of the home straight and charged to second before fading out to third, beaten a length and three quarters under Matthew Chadwick.

“That was a good run first-up for the stable, they went a bit slower than we thought, so he travelled a bit too keenly and I had to take off a bit sooner than I wanted to, so it just didn’t play into our hands today,” the rider said.

“The plan is to go to the QEII,” trainer Frankie Lor said. “He was only rated 104 so he needed to run well here to get up to a mark that would get him into the QEII, so he’s done what we needed him to do.”

Purton, who sealed a four-timer to take his total to 98 for the term, feels that there is better to come from the four-year-old.

“He’s just not the finished product yet,” he said. “His behaviour was much better behind the gate today; I took him out the back, tried to keep him as quiet as I could and they put him in later. He handled that better and because of that he began well and put himself in the right spot.

“The race was run to suit but he did have to make a long run, which I knew he was capable of; he did wander a bit in the straight and it wasn’t until I gave him a couple of cracks that he wanted to go. That’s why I’ve thought blinkers would be better.

“We haven’t seen his best yet. It’s still to come,” he added.

SA bred Singapore Sling was ridden by Karis Teetan and finished a two length fourth.

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