Master trainer John Moore has quashed retirement speculation about his champion galloper Beauty Generation, saying he will return to training this week.
The two-time Hong Kong Horse Of The Year has had his colours lowered on three consecutive occasions this season and was unable to defend his Group One Hong Kong Mile crown earlier this month at level weights, leaving many to question the seven-year-old’s future.
However, Moore said he would forge ahead with plans to run in the Group One Stewards’ Cup (1,600m) on January 19.
“He is back in work as of Monday, we are heading towards the Stewards’ Cup so the same plan as we had all along for him,” Moore said.
“We can’t do any more than what we have done with him, it might be the age factor kicking in, which I was trying to keep out of the equation.
“It is a pity that he is always taken on and doesn’t get his way in front to make his own sectionals but that is racing, we can’t tell people how to run their horse.
“As far as I am concerned, we will head to the Stewards’ Cup and we will see after that.”
After completing the perfect season last term, many expected the seven-time Group One winner to continue on his merry way again.
With a gut-busting first-up run which saw him break the 1,400m track record while carrying 133 pounds, Moore said he has been unable to find the same spark again which made him so dominant.
Even after being beaten three times on the trot, Beauty Generation has been beaten no further than two-and-a-quarter lengths, giving Moore hope he is still close to the mark.
“He hasn’t got any issues, he had a hard run and it took its toll but he is still able to run very competitively in the highest grade,” he said.
Moore also said his boom speedster Aethero has struggled after his Group One Hong Kong Sprint (1,200m) defeat.
It was revealed last week that the three-year-old was suffering from a fever after the run which saw him lead the field until the final 100m.
“He is not a well horse at the moment, he should be able to start back training [soon],” he said.
“He got it badly, that’s why he didn’t win that race. We know he can break (1:08.00 for 1,200m) and he wasn’t able to do it, you could see him labouring with it.”
With his entire racing career still ahead of him, Moore said he would take no risks with the prized prospect.
“His bloods before the race did not show anything and gave no indication that there was something coming on, if there was, he wouldn’t have run,” he said.
Aethero is likely to return to races on the same day as Beauty Generation in the Group One Centenary Sprint Cup (1,200m).