12/10/2017 8:45AM

Beauty Generation adds Hong Kong Mile to his niche

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Hong Kong Jockey Club
Beauty Generation paid $16.80 to win the Hong Kong Mile on Sunday at Sha Tin Racecourse.

HONG KONG – New Zealand-bred Beauty Generation came to Hong Kong from Australia having run 10 and 12 furlongs in his last two starts, and in his first Hong Kong season he was stretched back to similar distances to participate in the Hong Kong classic series. But Beauty Generation has found his niche this season as a miler, and on Sunday he won the most important such race in this jurisdiction, taking the Group 1, $2,946,760 Hong Kong Mile by one length.

Beauty Generation was urged to the front by jockey Derek Leung, made the lead after about 100 meters, and controlled the pace from there, giving the 29-year-old Leung, a Hong Kong-born product of the local apprentice jockey school, his first international Group 1 success here.

“This was a very good opportunity for me, and I took advantage,” Leung said.

Hong Kong International Races success is much more familiar to Beauty Generation’s trainer, John Moore, who won his seventh HKIR race and the Mile for the third time.

The longshot Western Express stalked the pace and finished second, a neck better than late-running Helene Paragon, whose race-best 22.18 final 400 meters proved insufficient. Fourth was favored Season’s Bloom, who was trapped last on the rail into the turn and had too much work to do in the homestretch.

It would have taken a spectacular performance to run down Beauty Generation, who himself clocked 22.71 for his final 400 meters. His 400-meter and 800-meter splits, 24.38 and 23.07, were faster than Group-stakes par for 1600-meter races here at Sha Tin, and Beauty Generation has the closing burst to capitalize on his tactical advantage.

“As we anticipated, he got the gun run today,” Moore said. ”He was able to dictate on his own terms, and over a mile he definitely has a turn of foot. He really attacked the line today. I thought if he wasn’t taken on, he’d be very tough.”

Contentment broke on top, followed by Horse of Fortune, but outside them charged Beauty Generation, Leung intent on making the lead.

“We dictated the pace from early on and at the 450 [meters] I pressed the button a bit earlier because I know he won’t stop,” Leung said. “The horse stayed on very well.”

Beauty Generation was timed in 1:33.72 over good ground, faster than the Group-race standard going 1600 meters at Sha Tin, and paid $16.80 on the North American tote.

Lancaster Bomber, the Breeders’ Cup Mile runner-up, turned in another solid run to finish fifth. Last year’s HK Mile winner Beauty Only was seventh, and two more horses out of the BC Mile, Karar and Roly Poly, were last and second to last in the field of 14.

Beauty Generation, owned by Patrick Kwok ho Chuen, won his fifth race from 11 Hong Kong starts and is a seven-time winner overall. The New Zealand-bred is by Road to Rock and out of Stylish Bel, by Bel Esprit.

The Hong Kong Mile program is a strong one, and Moore, having found Beauty Generation’s hole card, has a horse for the rest of it.