Beauty Only carries a reputation as the top miler in town despite having won one race in a year but his jockey Zac Purton is just hoping for an even speed in the Jockey Club Mile on Sunday that will allow the Tony Cruz-trained gelding to show it.
The Group Two Chairman’s Trophy in April is Beauty Only’s one win in his past eleven starts but he has run with credit in just about every race he has contested, including his two starts this season.
“He’s done nothing wrong. The two races this time have had no speed – the Sha Tin Trophy was just a crazily run race when the leaders jammed on the brakes in mid-race,” Purton said.
“Beauty Only is going really well and I think he’ll be hard to beat but you never know what sort of speed you’re going to get in a race until you’re out there in the heat of battle. That’s the one thing I’d like to see on Sunday, an even tempo.”
Purton also gets back aboard his 2014 Hong Kong Sprint winner, the Paul O’Sullivan-trained Aerovelocity in the Jockey Club Sprint and expects him to be competitive but to improve for December 11.
“He’s eight years old and he had that colic attack in Japan at a very awkward time in his career,” the jockey explained.
“It took him out of circulation for quite a long time and at his age it’s harder to get back to his top. Paul gave him a race at the end of last season so it wouldn’t be six months between races, but it was a bit rushed and he didn’t show his best. His first-up run was good but he’s not quite there yet and that’s why we trialled him again. The trial was good and the conditions of the race and barrier one should ensure he’ll run well but he’ll be even better on international day.”
Meanwhile, Matthew Chadwick has pulled up “better than expected” after his fall at Happy Valley and is looking forward to attacking a new set of circumstances with boom horse Pakistan Star. Chadwick was thrown to the track in the final stages of a race on Wednesday night but X-rays later cleared him of serious injury.
“I’m a bit sore but better than I expected,” Chadwick said. “There is some soreness in my left ankle but I’ve got three days until race day. It should be interesting, Pakistan Star in a slightly longer race and an inside draw – he should be able to position up closer than he has been. He’ll probably have horses around him for the first time in a race but that’s not something that ever bothers him in his trackwork.”
Chadwick said Pakistan Star’s behaviour in trackwork had regressed in recent gallops.
“It’s a long time since he stopped and played up going on to the track but he did it the other day, and was a bit on edge,” he said.
In other news, the Jockey Club has called on Melbourne-based Damian Lane to ride at Sha Tin next weekend to help with the jockey numbers running low.