Rise High to the occasion, Latest Racing News - The New Paper

Rise High to the occasion

High fives for Caspar Fownes-trained rising star and deflation in champion Beauty Generation's camp

Like they say, all good things must come to an end.

Hong Kong's sentional Horse of the Year Beauty Generation's win streak ended at 10 on Sunday - his first defeat since April 8 last year - when he ran third in the Group 2 Oriental Watch Sha Tin Trophy Handicap over 1,600m.

There was fist-pumping and whooping high-fives at the Rise High camp, which won the race from Waikuku.

"It was wonderful," said trainer Caspar Fownes, after his 16-1 shot Rise High had tugged Beauty Generation's mantle of invincibility to reveal a chink of vulnerability.

"How can you expect that? Beauty Generation is such a superstar. I was just saying walking over with my boys, that's what racing's about - champions get beat and let's hope we do it today."

Beauty Generation's unexpected reversal at odds of 1.3 came one day after Europe's star stayer Stradivarius had his own winning run ended at 10, and followed the defeat two weeks ago of Europe's darling Enable, who failed to make it 13 in a row when second in the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe.

"Just forgive him for it - wait for set-weights and see what happens," Beauty Generation's trainer John Moore said, noting the 14lb (6.3kg) weight concession to the winner.

"It just wasn't run to suit either, he's a better horse when he's left to run along but, when he's in the box seat like that, he just doesn't show the same turn of foot.

"It was just circumstances that prevented him from rolling along like he likes to. You could see he was heavily restrained behind and he just wasn't comfortable like that.

"I'd have rather had a wider gate and been able to come across and be where he wants to be, but getting gate two was probably the negative about the whole thing. He's pulled up OK."

Zac Purton was pleased, to a degree, with his mount's effort under a burden of 133lb.

"He still ran well," he said.

But the Sha Tin faithful are accustomed to seeing their pink-hooded hero roll his rivals, either by galloping relentlessly from the front or sitting outside the pace and then quickening powerfully off the final turn.

This time, Purton settled Beauty Generation behind a front two of Ka Ying Star and Glorious Forever.

When he pulled three deep for a run with 600m to race, the crowd was expectant, but this time his burst to the lead did not take him clear.

Not one but two rivals had his measure. Waikuku stalked ominously under Joao Moreira while the Vincent Ho-ridden Rise High threw down a seismic challenge down the middle of the track.

The challengers passed the champ together at the 150m mark and drew two lengths ahead - Rise High bagged the win by a neck. - HKJC