The best I've trained, says Moore
Trainer's untouchable Beauty Generation takes the Group 1 Stewards' Cup at Sha Tin on cruise control
John Moore hailed Beauty Generation "the best" he has trained after the champion brushed off five opponents to seal a fifth Group 1 win by capturing the Stewards' Cup over 1,600m at Sha Tin on Sunday.
"He's the best of the lot," the trainer confirmed when pressed.
That "lot" includes Hong Kong's record prize money earner Viva Pataca, as well as the horse, who currently shares with Beauty Generation Hong Kong's all-time highest international rating of 127 - the brilliant miler Able Friend.
"He was coasting. There was a bit more there," said jockey Zac Purton, after the six-year-old had made all the running and kicked away for an easy three-length success.
Closest behind was the talented rising star Conte, who snatched second from the Dubai World Cup Carnival-bound Southern Legend by a short head.
"I thought Beauty Generation's performance last time was better than today," said Purton. "But he had a bit of a let-up after the Hong Kong Mile and John had him on the way back up today. He's not far off his top and he's just shown that.
"He doesn't need to get any better, he just needs to keep doing what he's doing and that's enough."
Beauty Generation recorded a winning time of 1min 33.51sec, winding up through two concluding 400m sectionals clocked at 22.92sec and 22.69sec.
"He's actually better on a fast speed than on a moderate speed like today because that gives the other horses a chance to sprint with him. That's why the manner perhaps wasn't as impressive today but he can only do what he's doing and he was enjoying himself in the straight."
Hong Kong's Horse of the Year is now unbeaten in his last six starts, going back to last season's impressive Champions Mile success. That April Group 1 is now the big late-season target, but the Road To Rock gelding will first aim to repeat back-to-back wins in next month's Group 1 Queen's Silver Jubilee Cup over 1,400m.
Moore said he would recommend to the owner, Patrick Kwok, to go to the 1,400m Group 1 like last year.
He noted the owner's ambition is to top Viva Pataca's HK$83,197,500 (S$14.4 million) in stakes accrued. After Sunday's win, Beauty Generation has banked HK$66,387,500.
"I'd love to travel him," admitted Moore. "But it's important that I fit into the route that the Kwok family wants to take. I know their Grand Final is the Champions Mile, so that's our number one focus now. My job is to get him ready for that.
"If he wins the Champions Mile, it'll be down to the family as to whether we go to Japan for the Yasuda Kinen or we put him away for next season. It's always up to the owner."
The Stewards' Cup is the first leg of the Hong Kong Triple Crown and Moore ruled out stepping up to 2,000m in next month's second leg, the Group 1 Citi Hong Kong Gold Cup. The final leg is the Group 1 Standard Chartered Champions & Chater Cup over 2,400m in May. - HKJC