The old firm of Zac Purton and New Zealand bred galloper Beauty Generation (NZ) (Road To Rock) will join forces once again in Sunday’s Gr.1 Hong Kong Mile (1600m).
Hong Kong’s two-time Horse of The Year joined the David Hayes yard in the off-season following the departure of his previous handler John Moore from the Sha Tin training ranks and connections will be hoping for another bold showing in the race won by Beauty Generation in 2017 and 2018, while he also placed third last year.
With COVID-19 restrictions in play in Hong Kong, the usually effervescent International Meeting has had a more subdued build-up this year.
“It is just the world we are living in at the moment,” Purton said.
“It is very much a different feel that takes some of the excitement and build-up away from it, but fundamentally at the end of the day we are still going to run the races and that is the most important thing.
“As an older horse the owners decided they wanted Beauty Generation to go into the race fresh, so we missed the traditional Mile Trial.
“He is coming into this off a seven week break, but he looks really good in the mornings.
“I feel like he has still got it. If he just pushed the gas one more time, he can be competitive.”
The son of Road To Rock has had two starts under Hayes, finishing second in the Gr.3 Celebration Cup (1400m) before finishing sixth in the Gr.2 Oriental Watch Sha Tin Trophy (1600m), vanquished on both occasions by New Zealand Bloodstock Ready To Run Sale graduate Golden Sixty (Medaglia D’Oro), whom he faces again on Sunday.