Hong Kong superstar Beauty Generation is poised to create history on Sunday while his jockey Zac Purton is also on the verge of setting a lofty record of his own right.
If (when) Beauty Generation wins the Group One FWD Champions Mile, he will smash through Viva Pataca’s mark for most prize money won by a Hong Kong horse, while he will also become the first to win eight races in the season.
Purton is just two wins behind Gerald Mosse for most Group One victories by a jockey in Hong Kong and with Beauty Generation looking a certainty, he could equal the mark of 22 depending on how Exultant performs in the QE II Cup.
The Australian would have been a chance to win all three of the Champions Day features, but his ride in the Chairman’s Sprint Prize, Mr Stunning, was withdrawn on Saturday because of an issue with his right front leg.
But the focus of the day belongs to Beauty Generation as John Moore’s six-year-old looks to cap off a perfect season in Hong Kong.
He is currently level alongside Entrapment and Ambitious Dragon as the only horses to win seven races in one term in Hong Kong but will stand alone should he run as expected.
The son of Road To Rock is also set to pocket the HK$10.26 million first prize which will take his overall Hong Kong earnings to HK$84,770,000 – HK$1,572,500 clear of Viva Pataca.
Such is his dominance, his owners have now set their sights on beating Silent Witness’ winning streak of 17 – he should have nine in a row after Sunday.
It would take a disaster to see Beauty Generation go under – he is $1.10 in overseas fixed-odds markets – and Purton knows it.
“It should just be another formality for him,” his jockey said.
“I’m pretty comfortable going into this race, they’re all horses we’ve raced against all season, we know where they’re at and what they’re capable of.
“It’s great for racing in Hong Kong and great for racing around the world; there are a lot of people now following him and rightly so, he deserves it.”
Purton has won just about every major race at Sha Tin but one he still covets is the QE II Cup (2,000m) and he gets the chance to add that to the collection with Exultant.
The Tony Cruz-trained five-year-old has won two Group Ones this season – the Hong Kong Vase and the Hong Kong Gold Cup – and is set to start favourite in what looks an open race.
“It has eluded me, frustratingly, but I have a decent chance,” Purton said.
“It’s obviously the strongest and most interesting race of the day, not only do we have the Japanese horses coming back again after performing so well in December, we’ve got our Derby horses stepping out against the older horses for the first time. Previously, they’ve always held their own in this race. Then we’ve got our established mile-and-a-quarter horses who have been doing great things the last couple of seasons.
“It’s a very intriguing race, tactics are going to be key, tempo is going to be key – hopefully I can be in the right spot.”
While Mr Stunning failed his vet test on Saturday morning, it was better news for Lloyd Kennewell’s Viddora, who has been passed fit to take her spot in the Chairman’s Sprint Prize after concern over her right hind leg.