Beauty Touch will be a super stayer
Tony Cruz prepared two winners on last Sunday's card, including a smashing return in the Sha Tin Trophy with California Memory, and Beauty Touch appears a nice staying prospect after an encouraging debut third in the Class Two Lek Yuen Handicap (1,800m).
Beauty Touch was a promising French performer with three wins as Little Storm for trainer Christophe Ferland, chalking up a debut success at Bordeaux-Le-Bouscat by three lengths on heavy going as a two-year-old, before continuing his fine form as a three-year-old with straight victories over 2,000m at Mont-de-Marsan and Toulouse over 2,000m on good and good-to-soft going. He capped his overseas tenure when introduced to stakes company for a three-quarter length fourth behind Grand Vent in the Group Two Prix Noailles in April over 2,000m.
Beauty Touch was 13-1 fourth choice in betting behind the raging favourite Smart Giant. He was rated fourth to the outside of Smart Giant behind the good pace up front of Hollywood Kiss and stablemate Helene Witty, pulling forward almost three deep to settle third at the 1,500m, slotted in at the 1,200m, straightened three deep, went to second at the 250m and was overhauled 50m out for second by Jamesina. He finished 3 1/2 lengths off the winner Smart Giant in a swiftly run 1,800m in 1:47.88 on the good course.
The three-year-old is a son of the smart racehorse and young sire Anabaa Blue, a Group One winner of the 2001 Prix du Jockey Club (2,400m), mated to unraced Gone West mare Domus Orea, a half-sister to Alva Glen, a Listed Goodwood winner in the UK at 2,800m; Lyphard's Honor, a six-time winner, including a Listed event over 1,300m at Evry in France; and Shrewd Idea, a multiple winner and Group One placed in the Royal Oak (3,100m) in France. Domus Orea's only other start was a juvenile winner over 1,200m by Anabaa.
Beauty Touch has some room to build on his opening rating of 86 and shouldn't have too much trouble reaching the century mark as a stayer for the Beauty Touch Syndicate as the season progresses with the Hong Kong Derby (2,000m) in mind in March.
While there may be limited opportunities off his mark, Beauty Touch has some American bloodlines which may warrant a step out on the all-weather track as well.
Trainer Richard Gibson has got his career off to a fine start and can look forward to more success with his highest-rated runner, Tai Sing Yeh, after a positive fifth-place performance in the Group Two Premier Bowl (1,200m).
Tai Sing Yeh - formerly trained by Manfred Man Ka-leung - is a proven performer at Happy Valley, and off this effort, Gibson has the five-year-old in fantastic order to get the gelding back to the winner's circle again.