Beauty Generation makes all in Celebration Cup boilover
Beauty Generation (113lb) was drawn widest of 13 in Sunday’s G3 Celebration Cup Handicap (1400m), but was acceded the lead after 200m and was not for catching under jockey Derek Leung, leading every step after that to secure a first success at pattern level.
“That was just a case of a New Zealand horse loving any cut in the ground, which he got today,” said trainer John Moore after the second of consecutive Group 3 wins from his stable at the meeting.
“Originally, the instructions were to ride him back, but when Mother Nature opened the heavens up and we got a bit of cushion into the track, I said to Derek, go ahead to the lead.”
Both Winner’s Way (117lb) and New Asia Sunrise (113lb) broke alertly but soon took back in deference to 17/1 outsider Beauty Generation, who was winning in Hong Kong for the third time in eight starts.
“He jumped well from the gate and I didn’t need to use too much of him to get the lead in front,” said Leung, who was winning the first international pattern race of his career. “The others did not pressure me and the key to the win was really his stamina. He’d run in longer races last season and even though this was a drop back in trip, he had the stamina to see it out late.”
Seasons Bloom (121lb) was dispatched the 2.3 favourite after an easy Class 1 handicap win over 1200m on 3 September and rallied late to finish second, one and a half lengths behind the front-running winner.
“It was a fantastic run,” said jockey Joao Moreira. “He had a beautiful run through, saved ground on the fence, but was just beaten by a better horse on the day.”
John Moore-trained Beauty Generation (No.10), with Derek Leung on board, takes the G3 Celebration Cup (1400m), picture Hong Kong Jockey Club
Seasons Bloom ran his final 400m in 22.29s, the second-fastest in the race, behind only top-weight Beauty Only (133lb), the 2016 LONGINES Hong Kong Mile winner, and Hong Kong’s reigning Champion Miler, who rallied from 12th to fifth under Zac Purton, recording his final 400 in 22.05s.
Until Sunday, Purton had been the only jockey to ride Beauty Generation in Hong Kong. The gelding was Group 1-placed when second in the 2016 Rosehill Guineas when racing as Montaigne, and Purton guided the son of Road To Rock to third placings in both the Hong Kong Classic Mile and BMW Hong Kong Derby last season. But Purton was far from despondent, looking ahead to the big races later this term.
“I thought it was a great run,” Purton said, referring to Beauty Only’s fifth. “He had a big weight from the start and doesn’t like wet tracks. It was a good effort.”
Time Warp (113lb), following three consecutive front-running wins to end the 2016/17 season, raced close throughout and held third with Winner’s Way fourth. John Moore’s duo of Eagle Way (118lb) and Booming Delight (115lb), both G3 winners last season, were sixth and seventh, respectively. Beauty Generation completed the 1400m in 1m 21.80s over good-to-yielding going.
“Looking ahead, I will speak to the owners and see if they will let me keep Beauty Generation at a mile, I think that’s probably his best distance. If so, he will come back in the 1600m Group 3 later this month,” said Moore, referring to the Oriental Watch Sha Tin Trophy. “Booming Delight will probably do the same.
“I was very pleased with Eagle Way, who performed as I’d expected. This was always too short for him and he will now go to the Sa Sa Ladies’ Purse (1800m – 5 November) and then onto the 2000m trial (19 November – BOCHK Wealth Management Jockey Club Cup).”
Beauty Generation’s win made it consecutive scores in the Celebration Cup for John Moore, having trained Joyful Trinity to success in the race a season ago. Moore partnered with Vincent Ho to land the G3 National Day Cup earlier on the card with 24/1 outsider Dashing Fellow.
Due to Wednesday’s (4 October) Mid-Autumn Festival in Hong Kong, racing resumes with a rare Thursday (5 October) meeting at Happy Valley Racecourse as Oktoberfest celebrations commence at the city track. Declarations for the meeting will be made on Tuesday (3 October).