01/31/2011 11:03AM

Beauty Flash has to work for it at Sha Tin


Beauty Flash confirmed his recently acquired position as the Hong Kong’s leading miler at Sha Tin on Sunday, although he had to work much harder to win the $1 million Stewards Cup than he did when winning the more prestigious Hong Kong Mile on Dec. 12.

Having tracked the pacesetting Packing Winner under Gerald Mosse, Beauty Flash assumed command just outside the eighth pole, then repelled the late challenges first of Irian and then Sunny King, a 24-1 shot who was beaten a neck by the winner while finishing a half-length in front of Irian, the 1.30-1 favorite. Sent off as the 2.30-1 second choice in the 12-strong field, Beauty Flash covered the mile on good ground in 1:34.92.

Afterward, trainer Tony Cruz said the a trip to the Middle East for the 1 1/8-mile Dubai Duty Free at Meydan on March 27 was in the cards for Beauty Flash, a New Zealand-bred, Southern Hemisphere 5-year-old son of Golan who also won the Group 1 Hong Kong Classic Mile for 4-year-olds last year.

Two of Hong Kong’s most renowned horses failed in their attempts to recapture past glory in the Stewards Cup. The 19-1 Good Ba Ba, a seven-time Group 1 winner and three-time winner of the Hong Kong Mile, made a menacing move early in the straight but flattened out to finish sixth, beaten 2 1/4 lengths. The 16-1 Viva Pataca, an eight-time Group 1 winner in Hong Kong, raced toward the rear throughout in finishing ninth, five lengths behind Beauty Flash.