Beauty Generation supreme in Silver Jubilee

4 min read
Two-time Hong Kong Horse of the Year Beauty Generation (NZ) (Road to Rock) and his long-time companion Zac Purton regained their rightful place with their eighth Group 1 victory in Sunday’s Queen’s Silver Jubilee Cup at Sha Tin.

From relatively humble beginnings as a $60,000 purchase at the 2014 New Zealand Bloodstock National Yearling Sale at Karaka, Beauty Generation first rose to prominence as a quality 3-year-old who placed in the G1 Rosehill Guineas and G2 Hobartville S. in Sydney under his former name Montaigne.

It was in John Moore’s Hong Kong stable that he blossomed into a superstar, stringing together an extraordinary sequence of high-level wins and breaking Hong Kong records with fast times and unprecedented prize-money earnings in excess of HK$88 million ($16.8 million).

A 10-race winning streak was surprisingly snapped in October, and he had to settle for minor placings in five consecutive races.

But any claims that his star was on the wane were premature, and on Sunday he emphatically returned to the peak of his powers. Given a perfect run by Purton just behind the leading pair, Beauty Generation cruised into contention in the straight and stretched out powerfully to win by half a length.

It was a third consecutive Queen’s Silver Jubilee Cup triumph for the Nearco Stud-bred Beauty Generation, who was the world’s highest-rated miler in 2019 and has now won a total of 19 races from 36 starts and more than HK$95 million ($18.2 million).

Beauty Generation is the clear standout performer for his sire, the G1 Queen Elizabeth S. and George Main S. winner Road to Rock. The son of Encosta De Lago stands for a service fee of NZ$4,500 at Wellfield Lodge in Palmerston North, and he has sired a total of 86 winners from 144 runners with four stakes winners.

Beauty Generation is out of Stylish Bel (Bel Esprit), an unraced half-sister to the Listed winners Victory Trump (Euclase) and Savage Attack (Made of Gold). Stylish Bel is the dam of two winners from three foals to race, and in 2017 and 2018 she had a filly by Tavistock (NZ) and a colt by Tarzino (NZ).

The perplexing performance in Sunday’s race was champion sprinter Beat The Clock (Hinchinbrook), who failed to improve from his midfield position and finished four lengths from the winner in fifth. It was the first time the four-time Group 1 winner has finished outside the top three in his 25-start career.

Moreira magic in Gold Cup

Champion jockey Joao Moreira was at his world-class best in the day’s other Group 1, the Citi Hong Kong Gold Cup, guiding Time Warp (GB) (Archipenko {USA}) to a brilliant front-running victory.

It was a similar story of redemption for Time Warp, who was one of Hong Kong’s standout stars a couple of seasons ago, winning the G1 Hong Kong Cup and Gold Cup and amassing more than HK$31 million ($5.94 million) in stakes.

His form had been significantly below that level as a 7-year-old this season, but he and Moreira turned things around in style in Sunday’s 2000 metre feature.

After breaking alertly from a wide gate, Time Warp was urged forward by Moreira and crossed to the rail to take a clear lead turning out of the front straight. He dominated the race from there, running easy sectionals down the back of the track before gradually lifting the tempo from the 1000-metre mark.

He stole a break on the field at the top of the straight and kept going strongly to the line, winning by three-quarters of a length.

Time Warp is part of a potent Hong Kong double act for his dam Here to Eternity (USA) (Stormy Atlantic {USA}), who has also been ably represented by Glorious Forever (GB) (Archipenko {USA}}), winner of the G1 Hong Kong Cup in 2018.

The favourite and defending champion in Sunday’s race was Exultant (Ire) (Teofilo {Ire}), ridden by Purton. He sat in midfield and was under vigorous urging before the home turn, more than eight lengths from the leader.

He had a mountain of work to do in the straight, and although he quickened very stylishly in the last 150 metres, he was unable to catch the all-the-way winner and had to settle for second.

It was a quinella for trainer Tony Cruz, but not in the order most had expected.