Hong Kong


Beauty Generation warms up on a big morning of trials

Beauty Generation prepared for his next Group 1 assignment with a routine barrier trial at Sha Tin on Friday.

Hong Kong’s standout champion pleased connections with a two-length third to Pakistan Star in the 1000m turf track hit-out, nine days ahead of an attempt at a repeat win in the G1 Queen’s Silver Jubilee Cup (1400m).

“He’s going well,” jockey Zac Purton said. “He gave me a good feel. He’s at that stage where every time you get on him, he feels good - he doesn’t feel any different to how he’s felt so far this season.”

Given that Beauty Generation is five from five this term and now ranks as Hong Kong’s joint all-time highest rated horse, those are ominous words for the opposition.

The bay travelled strongly though the trial, galloping close to the inner cones without pressure to clock 57.94s.

“He’s doing everything right,” trainer John Moore said. “He did what we wanted him to do, he showed good, early gate speed which is what you need at the 1400 (metres) and Zac was happy. I asked Zac to keep him down that side, there was no hanging or anything and his feet are in great order.”

Purton, too, stated that the hanging that caused concern earlier this term was not in evidence.

“He seems to be much better at the moment in that regard,” the champion jockey said. “Last time he railed really well and today I brought him over towards the witches’ hats to start with and he came over really nicely, so hopefully all that stuff’s behind him.”

The Queen’s Silver Jubilee Cup on 17 February is one of two G1 contests on a feature race triple-header. Pakistan Star is headed towards that afternoon’s G1 Citi Hong Kong Gold Cup (2000m) and trainer Tony Cruz was delighted to see the Shamardal gelding lead the batch home handsomely in 57.64s. 

“That was impressive considering it was just 1000m,” he said. “He came good at this time last year and I think 2000m is perfect for him now. Tommy Berry has been confirmed for the ride.”

Beauty Generation, picture Hong Kong Jockey Club

Dubai’s still on for Elusive 

Tony Millard has the dirt track find of the season in Elusive State. The five-year-old is unbeaten in four races this campaign and looked to be well on course for a planned tilt at the Dubai World Cup card at the end of March with an impressive trial today.

The gelding was five lengths and more clear of his fellow triallists in batch three (1200m, dirt) clocking 1m 09.91s under Silvestre de Sousa.

“He’s doing well and Silvestre feels he’s in good form. We wanted him to trial nicely today so the next trial we can just play with him. He can certainly get along on the dirt,” Millard said.

Elusive State is entered for the G2 Godolphin Mile (1600m) at Meydan but the trainer is not ruling out a hit at the big one itself, the G1 Dubai World Cup (2000m).

“Anything can happen,” he said. “If he’s really impressive in the mile race coming up, we could aim at the Dubai World Cup but we’ve got to look at the opposition. If the opposition is too strong in the World Cup we’d go Godolphin Mile.

“But let’s not get ahead of ourselves, first he’s got to come through this preparation and give us a really nice run in this mile race on the dirt here.”

The John Size-trained Conte, runner-up to Beauty Generation in the G1 Stewards’ Cup (1600m) last time, rolled wide around the field and closed off eye-catchingly to follow in second under Joao Moreira. He heads to a rematch in the Queen’s Silver Jubilee Cup.

Size and Lor stars in form

Beat The Clock is seen by many observers as Beauty Generation’s biggest threat in the Queen’s Silver Jubilee Cup and the G1 Centenary Sprint Cup (1200m) winner was in action in batch two, a 1200m all-weather heat. Size’s five-year-old travelled sweetly to finish an easy second under Moreira.

With the Brazilian ace engaged on that G1 star, Jack Wong was aboard the stable’s exciting Waikuku in the same heat. The four-year-old put in a smart trial as he continues his preparation towards a possible tilt at the BMW Hong Kong Derby (2000m) on Sunday, 17 March, running on down the home straight to pass the post third.

“I hadn’t ridden him before but I think he’s maturing,” Wong said. “They told me he was getting a bit lazy but when I gave him instruction he just responded for me, so I was happy about him. He feels like a good horse, he’s full of power and he ran a nice trial.”

Simply Brilliant led the trial across the line in 1m 10.37s and his G1 LONGINES Hong Kong Cup-winning stablemate Glorious Forever stayed on to finish three and a quarter lengths back in fifth.

Trainer Frankie Lor declared that he was “happy with both” ahead of the Citi Hong Kong Gold Cup.