01/28/2011 1:11PM

Beauty Flash heads Stewards Mile at Sha Tin


Beauty Flash will attempt to add to his Dec. 12 Hong Kong Mile success at Sha Tin on Sunday in the $1 million Stewards Cup Mile. A Tony Cruz-trained New Zealand-bred gelding, Beauty Flash had five of his Sunday rivals behind him last time, as well as European Group 1 winners Sahpresa, Beethoven, and Paco Boy, and should get the job done with Gerald Mosse in the irons.

A year ago Beauty Flash made an impressive local debut with a 2 3/4-length triumph in the Group 1 Hong Kong Classic Mile for 4-year-olds. A win on Sunday would confirm the impression that he is Hong Kong’s best miler.

Fellowship and Thumbs Up, the first two home in last year’s Stewards Cup, try Beauty Flash again after finishing 11th and sixth respectively in the Hong Kong Mile. The biggest threat, however, may come from Irian. Trained by John Moore, he was just a neck second to Snow Fairy last time in the 1 1/4-mile Hong Kong Cup but is adept at a mile, having won the Group 2 German 2000 Guineas in 2009 and finishing third in the Group 1 Prix Jean Prat two months later at Chantilly. Darren Beadman has the call.

Packing Winner was third behind Snow Fairy and Irian in the Hong Kong Cup but probably prefers 10 furlongs. The 9-year-olds Viva Pataca and Good Ba Ba, the winners between them of 15 Group 1 races in Hong Kong during their storied careers, have both seen better days. Viva Pataca, who certainly prefers longer, last won on April 25 in the 1 1/4-mile Queen Elizabeth II Cup. Good Ba Ba is winless since landing his third straight Hong Kong Mile in December 2009.