Sha Tin teemed with visitors on Thursday with tour groups and racing people from around the world gathering for the LONGINES HKIR meeting on Sunday. Throughout all this the business of preparing went on for the local competitors and internationals alike with the business end on display.
Hong Kong’s champion rider Zac Purton discussed John Moore’s Group 1 LONGINES Hong Kong Mile hope Beauty Generation (NZ) who now has a rating of 126 and looks to dominate the race.
“We have to respect what he is doing on the track, he is no fluke with his performances, he goes out there and gets up on the speed. He has done it on fast speeds, he has done it on slow speeds, he has done it big weights, he has done it when he has been attacked and they are the type of horses that separate themselves from the rest,” he said.
“Obviously everyone is asking why he ran off the track. It is something I cannot really explain, he has always had a bit of a tendency to lug out a little bit. But last time was obviously concerning and hopefully it does not become a habit.
Zac Purton on Beauty Generation, photo Liesl King
“I was able to ride him in some work this morning. The horse feels fit, he feels well, I am sure he is going to perform well and hopefully he can go out there and do what he has been doing.
“He ran a track record so he could not go any faster than what he was going. Sometimes a big performance like that can take a little bit out of them. He is the type of horse who handles his work and handles his racing and he has done it for a few seasons now.
“He is in the right stable. John Moore is a big race trainer, he gets his horses to peak on the big days and he has done it time and time again. So if there is any stable I would like him to be in it would be his stable. I have full confidence that he is going to turn the horse out in proper order and I have confidence in the horse that he can go and do it as well,” he said.
When Beauty Generation won the Group 2 BOCHK Wealth Management Mile on November 18th he drifted left towards the outside of the track, but still won by 3L in race record time.
“Every jurisdiction has their champions and this fellow is looking like he is the champion. He has already been Horse of the Year and he looks as if he is going in that direction now with this step up in his ability,” said Moore.
Moore explained that Beauty Generation appreciates his environment and while tending to savage his groom they also apparently are used to each other
“He is a bit of a headcase, you have to get to know him otherwise he will savage you and kick you. These top champions all have their traits and can be difficult to deal with, but we have married him up with the right groom,” he said.
Moore said that Beauty Generation was given a complete check over in Thursday morning with the HKJC chief vet, two farriers and their stable vet to see if there was anything that might allude to the horses tendency to drift to his left. Nothing was found.
The trainer said that there was ‘no doubt’ as to the soundness of Beauty Generation.
The Mile will be one of the highlights of a programme built to be packed with them.
Track footnotes – On Wednesday the column noted Persian Knight (JPN) and once again the four-year-old Hardinger entire showed out with a smashing gallop on the Turf. He lengthened very well and strode over 1200m looking very much in command of himself.
Another to noticeably move well in their work was Dermot Weld’s four-year-old Teofilo mare Eziyra (IRE), bred and owned by the Aga Khan who is no stranger to success at the HKIR meeting.
An unscheduled dismount for Eziyra's rider, photo Liesl King
The mare dropped her rider when she took fright as another runner on the All Weather went past her on her inside, but there was no problem and she did not get loose. Showing a sensible attitude the mare, with her rider remounted, eased quickly off around the All Weather and looking a fine athletic in doing so.
Mirage Dancer (GB) came out under Ryan Moore on the Turf. This lightly raced Frankel four-year-old entire for Juddemont is stepping up to Group 1 level in the LONGINES Hong Kong Vase (2400m) in what looks to be an even race. No doubt Sir Michael Stoute has not brought Mirage Dancer to the race without considering the talent involved, and certainly Moore had the strong looking individual working well under a hold.