John Moore has refuted claims from rival trainers that Beauty Generation could become a “has-been” overnight, saying he fully expected his star galloper to bounce back and win on Sunday.
Trainer Tony Millard earlier this week lit the fuse for Sunday’s Group Two Jockey Club Mile, saying “things change and champions turn into has-beens overnight”, but Moore said his seven-time Group One winner was still at the peak of his powers.
“Oh definitely [he’s still a champion]. From my point of view, that was not a correct statement,” Moore said.
“Circumstances last start cost him the race, he was carrying the grandstand there and breaking the track record first-up, it took a lot out of him and maybe the run came too close.”
With their dreams of breaking Silent Witness’ winning streak of 17 shattered, Moore said connections of Beauty Generation have moved on.
Already the top money earner in Hong Kong racing history, Moore will target more Group One success with the seven-year-old before he is forced into retirement at the end of this season.
Tony Millard warns Beauty Generation can go from champion to has-been overnight ahead of Jockey Club Mile clash
“We had to go back and accept what went on but leading into this race he has done everything right,” Moore said.
“His weight is right on, his work leading up to the race was exemplary, he went from the 1,800m down the back straight in about 51 [seconds] then I trot them down the straight because of the gradient, I don’t want any soundness issues.
“The work rider was said he has done everything right, he believed the horse would be winning the race on Sunday.”
After getting jammed in a pocket in what was his first defeat in 18 months last start, Moore said punters can expect different tactics this time around with just six rivals in the race.
While he again has an inside draw with gate one, Moore said he would expect champion jockey Zac Purton to utilise his best assets.
“I think there will be a little bit different of a game plan this time around,” he grinned.
Joao Moreira, John Moore, John Size, Caspar Fownes and Karis Teetan have their say on Jockey Club features
“I know they have got Simply Brilliant in there along with Ka Ying Star but I am sure Zac and I will have a chat with respect to making sure we don’t get locked in on the fence.
“This horse is seriously fit at the moment, if any of those horses want to eyeball early on, I am sure Zac will be into them and just test them.
“With respect to Beauty Generation, I believe he can eyeball them in the early part of the race and then we see if they can keep up that pace.
“It will be different on Sunday and as far as I am concerned I think he will be winning the race.”
Sunday’s Jockey Club Mile sees Beauty Generation return to set weights and penalties conditions, where he will carry 128 pounds compared to the 133 which saw him come unstuck last month.
As the only Group One winner in the race, Beauty Generation will carry an extra five pounds compared to his rivals, headed by the John Size-trained Waikuku.