Moore stunned by Encouraging show, Latest Racing News - The New Paper

Moore stunned by Encouraging show

Panasonic Cup winner shatters Beauty Generation's track record

Trainer John Moore jokingly admitted that he nearly had a heart attack watching his charge, Encouraging, win the Class 1 Panasonic Cup at Sha Tin on Saturday.

Encouraging broke Beauty Generation's track record and left Moore astonished and baffled.

"I was taken aback by that and the way he did it, breaking the track record, but I have a nice horse on my hands," said Moore.

The six-year-old's tenacious triumph ensured apprentice Alfred Chan enjoyed the biggest day of his young career.

But the claimer did not enjoy the easy lead he had anticipated, thanks to the close attention of Waldorf, who vied for the front under Keith Yeung.

"I thought about giving the lead to Waldorf but he was an outsider and I didn't want to get trapped behind him," said Chan.

Moore thought his in-form gelding's chance had been blown by the attentions of the Tony Cruz-trained challenger.

"I was having a heart attack," said the trainer, smiling.

"When Waldorf went up and took him on, I thought he'd finish nowhere. It just shows the tenacity of the horse that he could keep up the gallop when Waldorf took him on.

"I thought Good Standing was going to come and win it, I didn't realise this horse would knuckle down like he did."

Encouraging boxed on to win by 13/4 lengths, stopping the timer at 1min 19.92sec - Beauty Generation's 1,400m record, set when the champ carried topweight in last month's Group 3 Celebration Cup, stood at 1min 20.05sec.

The Redoute's Choice gelding has won five of 11 starts for Moore since transferring from the Michael Freedman stable around this time last year.

"He's like a real good bottle of wine. Leave it in the cellar for a few years and it really improves. He's just improved with age.

"He was going to run in the Chevalier Cup later this month but it looks like he might be out of it now with whatever the handicapper gives him for this win. We will now target for the Group 3 on Jan 1."

Chan, beaming and acceding to requests for waves and thumbs-up salutes for the cameras, was delighted and impressed in equal doses.

"That was an impressive run, to go that quick, head-to-head with Waldorf - my thought was that he might not finish off but he proved himself," he said.

"The time was really quick and he still stayed to the last - he won very well. It's my first time winning a Cup race in Hong Kong and my first win for Mr Moore. So I am over moon."

Encouraging's win was the latest success by a horse prepared at the Hong Kong Jockey Club's Conghua Racecourse facility. - HKJC