Beauty Generation seemingly answered any questions about his will to win by edging out stablemate Eagle Way in a Class Two thriller but jockey Zac Purton says the best is yet to come for the staying talent.
John Moore’s Australian import won in Class Two earlier in the season and ran on nicely for third behind Rapper Dragon in the BMW Hong Kong Derby, but there was a suggestion the gelding was not quite giving his best.
So when Joao Moreira took off early on Eagle Way in an effort to turn the 2,200m race into a true staying test, it forced Purton’s hand on the favourite and put Beauty Generation out of his comfort zone.
“The last furlong of his races isn’t his strongest,” Purton admitted after the short head victory.
“But because of the early move, Eagle Way was getting tired, and I kept chugging along at one pace and got over the top of him.”
Even though Beauty Generation arrived on a mark of 93 and won off 100 on Sunday, Purton suggested there was still some upside for a four-year-old with just 13 career starts.
“I think when he matures more, wraps his head around the whole thing and runs through the line we are going to see a better horse,” he said.
“He is a work in progress at the moment, and has done a good job so far. It’s easy to forget he didn’t have a lot of racing in Australia and he is a bit backward mentally.
“Even in the mornings at trackwork, he keeps getting better all the time, so hopefully he can keep making progress in his racing as well.”
The Group Three Queen Mother Memorial Cup on April 30 looms as the next target for the stayers, before they progress on to the Group One Standard Chartered Champions & Chater Cup.
Moore was not only happy with his quinella horses, but fifth placegetter Helene Charisma – even if the French import needs some more give in the ground.
“I’m very happy with all three of my horses,” Moore said. “I think today the difference between the top two was the barriers – Beauty Generation got a good run and ground away whereas Joao had to make an early run and that cost him the win. Joao was very happy and is keen to stay on Eagle Way at his next start.
“For Helene Charisma, that track was very firm today and it didn’t suit him, Euro horses on a road like that find it more difficult to let down but at this time of year we often get some rain and juice in the ground and that will suit him better.”
Helene Charisma’s jockey Douglas Whyte added that some bumping in the straight might have caused the colt to lose focus.
“I followed Joao into the race because he was one to beat, and I was quite happy with how it was panning out,” Whyte said. “But when Zac came out he bumped my horse, and Helene Charisma being a colt, he had a bit of a think about it, he was distracted and it cost him a length or more.”