John Size lives in hope of a Group One boilover in Sunday’s Queen’s Silver Jubilee Cup (1,400m), saying his duo of Beat The Clock and Conte are poised to strike if champion Beauty Generation is not on his A game.
The master trainer said the clash – which sees the like of Beauty Generation and Conte dropping in distance while Beat The Clock steps up – makes for a “fascinating” race.
Beauty Generation narrowly beat home Beat The Clock in the same race last year and both horses have improved since then, but Size said you cannot judge the horses purely on ratings.
“The tempo of the race is going to have a play in it, if there is any speed or not and so will distance changes for the three horses,” he said.
“It’s an interesting exercise, even though it’s a small field and there are good horses, it will be interesting to see how it plays out.”
Renowned for his ability to map out how a race will pan out, Size kept his cards close to his chest with plans for his two gallopers, indicating a “sit and sprint” would help last start Group One winner Beat The Clock.
“The tempo will have a lot to do with it, if they run it at a speed that suits his finishing speed, that’s where he will get the advantage. If it’s too testing for him, Beauty Generation will have the advantage,” he said.
“The tempo isn’t always consistent either, it changes in the run. I think it’s fascinating.”
In a race full of unknowns, one thing for certain is that Size will not have his runners going out to solely take down Beauty Generation.
While many have tried, and failed, to take down the champion galloper, Size will not be attempting the same.
“As his jockey [Zac Purton] has said many times, if you try and beat him with tactics, you will just beat yourself, so that’s not going to work and that applies to all of the champions,” he said.
“It doesn’t matter what you try to do to upset them, you cannot. Actually you get yourself beat because you have an inferior horse.
“No one is going to be surprised if he keeps winning but we live in hope and with the vagaries of racing that change daily, we imagine we have a chance.”
Meanwhile last year’s Derby-winning trainer was quick to end comparisons between his up-and-coming four-year-old hope Waikuku and Ping Hai Star.
Waikuku looks set to enter the 2,000m Derby next month off a string of 1,400m starts, as Ping Hai Star did last year before winning the feature event, but that is about where the comparisons end.
“He [Waikuku] is a little bit immature compared to Ping Hai Star in strength and experience, he hasn’t had much racing, we have to be mindful of that not to make it too testing,” he said.
“I will try to look after him and make sure he has plenty of energy for the big day.”
Former John Oxx galloper Waikuku has made a fine start to his Hong Kong career. R10 at Sha Tin looked very strong but he surges clear like a smart horse to make it four on the day for Joao Moreira and three for John Size #HKracing pic.twitter.com/OL4p0e0OfV— HKJC Racing (@HKJC_Racing) January 20, 2019
The Irish import will line up in the Class Two Citi Wealth Management Services Handicap (1,400m) on Sunday, in what could potentially be his last start before the Derby, already boasting a rating of 93.
Size said he will “entertain the idea” of running Waikuku in a 1,800m Class Two race on March 2 should he come out of Sunday’s race with no problems, otherwise a lone barrier trial is likely.