Can anyone beat Beauty Generation in the FWD Champions Mile?
On form and ratings, none of his six rivals can hold a candle to him and it should be nothing more than a trackwork gallop for the reigning Hong Kong Horse of the Year.
Of course, it is a horse race and anything can happen, but realistically, they’re racing for second.
So what do the others hope to achieve?
It's a magnificent seven Group race wins in a row for master miler Beauty Generation, who steps back to 1400m and beats Beat The Clock with much more authority than last year in the G1 Queen's Silver Jubilee Cup. #HKracing pic.twitter.com/Rili9412Nu— HKJC Racing (@HKJC_Racing) February 17, 2019
There is valuable prize money to be had – second is worth HK$3.96 million, third is HK$1.8, while even sixth gets HK$360,000. The trick is not to finish last – they will go home empty-handed.
The allure of that extra cash caused the connections of Singapore Sling to choose to race in the Champions Mile ahead of the QE II Cup, even though there is little prospect of winning.
“Of course, Beauty Generation is the horse to beat but the horses that ran second and third [to him last start – Eagle Way and Pakistan Star] are not there any more, which is why we took a chance to keep him at 1,600m,” jockey Karis Teetan said.
“I don’t think 1,600m is his best distance – I think he will appreciate some more ground but we’ve chosen to go to 1,600m because it is an easier race than going to the 2,000m. I think it’s a good thing he is running at 1,600m.
“The horse is very well and we’re going to give it a go, but keeping in mind that there is a champion horse there.”
When asked if Simply Brilliant could beat Beauty Generation, trainer Frankie Lor Fu-chuen just laughed.
“It’s not going to be easy. If he runs close, I’ll be very happy,” Lor said. “We’re just trying to get some prize money.”
Conte is the closest horse to Beauty Generation on ratings – his international rating is 116, 11 points off the champ – but trainer John Size is not really entertaining the prospect of winning, offering a familiar refrain.
“He had a good break and a little bit of time off between runs before his last start so he probably lacked a little bit of race condition,” Size said. “Now with just three weeks between runs and he’s continued to train well, I’m hoping he can get some prize money.”
And just to continue the “prize money” theme, here’s what Matthew Chadwick, the man who will ride the Tony Cruz-trained Romantic Touch, said.
“He’s coming up against Beauty Generation and a few other horses going through the grades nicely,” Chadwick said.
“He tries his heart out, he’s a genuine horse, and he’s shown that he can match up to some of the best on his day with the right run. [Hopefully we] get the best run and see if we can pick up some prize money.”
So looking at things objectively, nobody thinks they can knock off Beauty Generation and cause the upset of the century – but the battle is definitely on for the minor placings.