Zac Purton was at his cheeky best with arch-rival Joao Moreira after taking the Queen’s Silver Jubilee Cup on Beauty Generation to snare the Group One double on Sunday.
Amid a four-win haul on the day, the majors went Purton’s way on Time Warp and then Beauty Generation, who fought back after being headed inside the 200m by Beat The Clock (Moreira) sneaking up the inside rail.
“I think Joao made a mistake. He snuck up on my inside like a little church mouse, then as he got on level terms with me, he suddenly roared at Beat The Clock and my horse responded,” Purton said.
It was a second Group One for the campaign for Beauty Generation, bought by the Kwok family as a Derby proposition last season, but switched back in distance by trainer John Moore.
@zpurton revealed Joao Moreira “roaring” at Beat The Clock gave Beauty Generation an extra kick in the run to line ... horse has been brilliantly re-invented as a miler in HK #HKracing pic.twitter.com/PjqspI77cS— Michael Cox (@KemblaCoxy) February 25, 2018
“He arrived here as a Derby horse but, at the beginning of this season, I said to the owner Patrick [Kwok Ho-chuen] that I wanted to make a miler of him,” Moore said. “He had the gate speed to do it and now he’s won a Hong Kong Mile and a Group One at 1,400m and I think the owner is scratching his head wondering how this happened.”
Purton had been the horse’s regular rider in the lead-up to the Derby last year and, after Sunday’s successful reunion, recalled telling Moore the horse would be a better five-year-old.
“He has surprised us all with where he’s got to but I did always say he’d better this season. And he’s still not completely there yet. He waits for the other horses a bit, he gives a kick and then wanders and waits for them,” he said. “But this definitely seems to be his distance, 1,400-1600m, where he has a high cruising speed.”
Beauty Generation has an entry for the Dubai Turf but is unlikely to go.
“I’ll talk to the owners and see what they want to do but they haven’t indicated to now that they were keen,” Moore said. “So he’ll head towards the Champions Mile and we’ll have to find him a run somewhere in between now and then.”
Trainer John Size had previously flagged that Beat The Clock gets run out of the final stages of 1,400m races and reiterated that after a brave but ultimately confirmative second in a race where the placegetters may all head in different directions.
“I think we’ve seen it a few times now. He finishes all right at 1,400m and he still ran a close second, but he can’t fight a tough finish out. He’s better at 1,200m, where they’re coming back to him a bit more,” Size said.
Fifty Fifty (Karis Teetan) filled third and Teetan said the grey had not been as well suited dropping back in distance from the Stewards’ Cup over 1,600m.
“He ran well but I think he needs the mile now and possibly even further would suit him, but not shorter,” he said.