Beauties out of luck in Hong Kong International Races, but Prince set to reign in short time
The ‘Beauty” horses missed out in the big ones on Sunday at Sha Tin but at least one of the lesser colour bearers, Beauty Prince, did enough behind Winston’s Lad to suggest his winning turn is not far away.
Beauty Prince’s opening play a month ago was difficult to assess behind Secret Command as he was slowly away, struck some trouble in running and could hardly be judged on his eighth.
On Sunday, trainer John Moore fitted Beauty Prince with blinkers and a hood and that seemed to bring a solid performance from the three-year-old who turns four in a couple of weeks’ time.
This time, Beauty Prince began better from near the outside and worked forward in a modest tempo to sit three wide outside the front-running horses.
He covered enough ground that he might have been forgiven had he put up the white flag earlier but the soft tempo helped him and he hung on for longer than that to finish up fourth.
It was enough to suggest he is going to start being much more competitive from here on in and even a little further than 1,200m is going to suit him.
Moore has run him twice on turf so far but it is worth noting he ran second on Tapeta in the United Kingdom and won his maiden on the Kempton polytrack so that gives him a few options for surfaces.
In the same race, Danny Shum Chap-shing-trained Land Grant did a nice job on debut and he will definitely be better for his debut outing.
A son of High Chaparral, Land Grant raced five times and won three moderate races in Australia up to 1,500m, handling both good and soft ground well. Winners of three races are not ideal buys for Hong Kong normally and he seems fully rated at 75 as his starting point but the strike rate at least catches the eye.
Whether he is up to becoming part of the classic scene remains to be seen as he looks a grade below that but Land Grant should win races and this was a good pointer to his early prospects.