Beauty Generation not only moved up the John Moore pecking order with a front-running Group One Longines Hong Kong Mile win but may have booked himself an overseas trip to tackle next year’s Dubai Turf at Meydan.
A superbly rated ride by Derek Leung Ka-chun on the tactically versatile gelding gave Moore a seventh international day win and a third victory in the mile after victories with Able Friend (2014) and Able One (2010).
“I will be asking the owner about Dubai, he will get an invite for sure,” Moore said. “A horse with his ability to sit handy would really suit that race over 1,800m.”
A switch in distances and a change to more positive tactics had already revealed Beauty Generation as the find of the season but Sunday’s victory confirmed the import as a genuine Group One conveyance.
“He hasn’t put a foot wrong this season and all he has done is improve,” Moore said.
“As I said earlier in the season, I was going to train him for a mile and put some speed into him. Now he can attack the line off some smart sectionals. Having that ability to get to the front and dictate is a big advantage – and it’s indispensable here in Hong Kong.
“We don’t have pacemakers here, in Europe Aidan [O’Brien] and co. can send pacemakers out there, so you won’t get a slow run race at top level. It’s so important here to have a horse that can make his own luck.”
Moore’s Helene Paragon (Tommy Berry) was third after a spotty preparation, with the stablemates split by the John Size-trained Western Express (Sam Clipperton) in second.
Hong Kong jockey Derek Leung scores a memorable @LONGINES Hong Kong Mile win aboard Beauty Generation, a first G1 for both horse and rider. It's the third Mile win for trainer John Moore, after Able One (2011) and Able Friend (2014) #HKIR pic.twitter.com/6Et8jBZUGr— HKJC Racing (@HKJC_Racing) December 10, 2017
“I was really happy with that,” Clipperton said. “The difference for him today was that he was able to get a good jump. He has been slow away and I expected to be back in the field but the way he jumped meant I was able to sit in the one-one. If he can keep getting out of the gates like that it could make all the difference for him.”
The way Leung rated Beauty Generation – easing to the front and then cruising unopposed through middle 400m sectionals of 23.07 and 23.56 seconds – gave the back-markers little hope.
Leung’s decision to let Beauty Generation roll on before turning, rather than wait for the home straight, also proved key as he kicked home his final sectional in 22.71 seconds.
“I just tried to give him a smooth run, getting across without causing any interference, we set the pace and dictated in the early stages,” Leung said. “I pressed the button at the 450m because I knew he would not stop and he didn’t. I had no worries to kick for home early and the horse ran so well.”
One of those back-markers, surprisingly, was race favourite Seasons Bloom, who was slow to muster speed for Joao Moreira and worked home for fourth and later scoped with substantial blood in his trachea.
“No complaints, it was a good run,” Moreira said. “Maybe he needs a little more ground.”
Coolmore’s Lancaster Bomber was fifth after settling midfield and the only visitor to finish in the top nine.
“He ran a good race,” jockey Ryan Moore said. “It has been hard to make up ground today and the winner just ran soft time in front.”
Last year’s winner Beauty Only was the biggest disappointment, failing to show his trademark finish and Zac Purton expressing some concern.
“He shortened in the straight so there might be something amiss,” he said.
Beauty Only was unable to be scoped after becoming fractious post-race.