John Moore hailed Beauty Generation “the best” he has trained after the champion brushed off five opponents to seal a fifth Group One win in the Stewards’ Cup (1600m) at Sha Tin on Sunday.
“He’s the best of the lot,” the trainer confirmed when pressed.
That “lot” includes Hong Kong’s record prize money earner Viva Pataca, as well as the horse who currently shares with Beauty Generation Hong Kong’s all-time highest international rating of 127 – the brilliant miler Able Friend.
“He was coasting: there was a bit more there,” jockey Zac Purton said after the six-year-old had made all and kicked away for an easy three-length success.
“I thought Beauty Generation’s performance last time was better than today,” Purton continued, “but he had a bit of a let-up after the Hong Kong Mile and John had him on the way back up today. He’s not far off his top and he’s just shown that.
“He doesn't need to get any better, he just needs to keep doing what he’s doing and that’s enough.”
Beauty Generation recorded a winning time of 1m 33.51s, winding up through two concluding 400m sectionals clocked at 22.92s and 22.69s.
“He’s actually better on a fast speed than on a moderate speed like today because that gives the other horses a chance to sprint with him. That’s why the manner perhaps wasn’t as impressive today but he can only do what he’s doing and he was enjoying himself in the straight.”
Hong Kong’s Horse of the Year is now unbeaten in his latest six starts going back to last season’s impressive Champions Mile success. That April Group One is now the big late-season target but the Road To Rock gelding will first aim to repeat back-to-back wins in next month’s Gr.1 Queen’s Silver Jubilee Cup (1400m).
“I’ll recommend to the owner, Patrick (Kwok), that we go to the 1400-metre Group One like last year,” Moore said, noting that the owner’s ambition is to top Viva Pataca’s HK83,197,500 in stakes accrued. After today’s win, Beauty Generation has banked HK$66,387,500.
“I’d love to travel him,” the trainer admitted, “but it’s important that I fit into the route that the Kwok family wants to take. I know their Grand Final is the Champions Mile so that's our number one focus now – my job is to get him ready for that.
“If he wins the Champions Mile, it’ll be down to the family as to whether we go to Japan for the Yasuda Kinen or we put him away for next season. It’s always up to the owner.”
The Stewards’ Cup is the first leg of the Hong Kong Triple Crown and Moore ruled out stepping up to 2000m in next month’s second leg, the Gr.1 Citi Hong Kong Gold Cup. The final leg is the Gr.1 Standard Chartered Champions & Chater Cup over 2400m in May.
Beauty Generation, who was bred by Nearco Stud and sold through Highden Park's 2014 New Zealand Bloodstock draft, will take high rank in the 2018 LONGINES World’s Best Racehorse Rankings released on Wednesday (23 January).
Carlaw Park will offer a Tavistock half-sister to Beauty Generation as Lot 443 in Book 1 of Karaka 2019. -HKJC
Meet the new boss - same as the old boss! Beauty Generation starts 2019 as he left 2018, beating G1 rivals in superb style. Conte excels on his debut in the top flight but @zpurton is in cruise control on the world's best turf miler. #HKRacing pic.twitter.com/NDcb4ncXV9— HKJC Racing (@HKJC_Racing) January 20, 2019