Beauty Generation beaten by Rise High at Sha Tin

Rise High
Rise High

Beauty Generation's winning run came to an end at 10 as he could finish only third behind Rise High in the Oriental Watch Sha Tin Trophy.

First Enable, then Stradivarius and now Beauty Generation.

The longest winning streaks at racing's top table have bitten the dust in dramatic fashion of late and Hong Kong racing was in shock on Sunday as John Moore's gelding could finish only third behind Irish import Rise High and Vincent Ho in the Oriental Watch Sha Tin Trophy.

The horse dubbed the master miler lined up for the £420,000 handicap unbeaten in eighteen months and bidding to stretch his winning sequence to eleven as the 1.3 favourite under Zac Purton.

However, things didn't go to plan from an early stage for Beauty Generation, who could never adopt his usual freewheeling style and tended to race more keenly than ideal as the pace steadied.

Purton asked HK's dual Horse of the Year to accelerate off the home turn and, to his credit, Beauty Generation battled his way ahead of early leaders Ka Ying Star and Glorious Forever.

But the energy wasted early and the concession of between 14lb and 20lb to a high-class field containing three other G1 winners took a toll late on and John Moore looked on ruefully as Rise High and fellow Irish recruit Waikuku forged clear to dominate the finish.

A tight-lipped Purton restricted himself to saying "he ran a good race" as he returned to the weighing room, but Moore had no doubt that circumstances had conspired against Beauty Generation.

"I said before the race that stall 2 might not be ideal and once the leader got across him he just tended to over race and when that happens he just doesn't show the same turn of foot," he said.

"The way things developed meant that he couldn't get rolling in the way he needs so I think we can forgive him. He's pulled up ok and I'm not worried. I think I still have the best horse for when the set weights races come around."

Rise High won two out of two when trained by Ken Condon in Ireland, while Waikuku showed useful form for John Oxx and went down fighting under Joao Moreira.

"It's an emotional day and a great day," said winning trainer Caspar Fownes.

Fownes feels Rise High's future lies over distances beyond a mile and will use next month's G2 Jockey Club Cup over 2000m to guide his plans for the rest of the season.

"I've said for a long time that I think this horse could be Hong Kong's next big thing and he's really getting there now," he added.

Seasons Bloom has been switched to sprinting after failing to cope with Beauty Generation on a regular basis over the last two seasons and the move paid off handsomely earlier on the Sha Tin Card with a thrilling success in the G2 Premier Bowl.

Danny Shum's gelding produced an irresistible late swoop to collar hot favourite Full Of Beauty in the final strides and gave South African rider Grant Van Niekerk his biggest success since arriving in HK last season.

Seasons Bloom will now head straight for the G1 Longines Hong Kong Sprint in December but plans are less certain for Pakistan Star. Paul O'Sullivan's gelding was already held in fifth when squeezed close home, while Ivictory trailed home last and continues to run well below the form which saw him crowned HK's champion sprinter in 2017-18.


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