New Zealand-bred superstar Beauty Generation claimed the Hong Kong Horse of the Year award for the second year in a row at a sparkling ceremony held at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel tonight, Friday, 12 July.
A four-time Group One victor this term, Hong Kong’s best galloper was also named Champion Miler for the second consecutive year.
Beauty Generation is the eighth horse to win back-to-back Horse of the Year titles in Hong Kong’s professional era, joining other timeless heroes Silver Lining, Co-Tack, Quicken Away, River Verdon, Fairy King Prawn, Silent Witness and Ambitious Dragon.
John Moore’s stable star had a remarkable 2018/19 campaign in which he went unbeaten and registered a Hong Kong record of eight wins in a season. In addition, he set a new all-time prize money record of HK$84,770,000 and earned the equal-highest rating (127) ever achieved by a Hong Kong horse in the LONGINES World’s Best Racehorse Rankings. The Patrick Kwok-owned six-year-old also smashed the course record for 1600m at Sha Tin when he had to concede weight to all other rivals in the G2 BOCHK Wealth Management Jockey Club Mile.
The Champion Miler completed a clean sweep in all the Group One mile races this term, including going back-to-back in the big two for his division, the LONGINES Hong Kong Mile and the FWD Champions Mile. Zac Purton was in the saddle for every one of his races this term.
Meanwhile, Beauty Generation also secured the bulk of the public vote to claim the Most Popular Horse title.
A graduate of Libby and Sam Bleakley's Highden Park, Beauty Generation, a son of Road To Rock, was sold for just $60,000 at New Zealand Bloodstock's Select Yearling Sale, with Kylie Bax' Hermes Syndications signing the docket. He was later traded privately from Anthony Cummings Sydney stable after a Group One placing in Australia.
Beat The Clock, a graduate of New Zealand Bloodstock's Ready To Run Sale where he was sold for $200,000 by the Van Dyke family's Prima Park, was named the season’s Champion Sprinter. The John Size-trained five-year-old was a dual Group One victor this term, claiming the Centenary Sprint Cup and the Chairman’s Sprint Prize.
The Hinchinbrook gelding, who was bought by Bill Mitchell for Merrick Chung, continued to be a model of consistency with two wins, two seconds and two thirds from just six starts this term, all at Group race level - he has placed in the first three in all of his 21 starts in Hong Kong.
Zac Purton sealed the Champion Jockey title for a third time and was also elected the Most Popular Jockey of the Year. The Australian rider had a fantastic season, becoming only the second jockey to reach 1000 wins in Hong Kong. He also set a new single season prize money record, and could yet match or better Joao Moreira’s all-time record of 170 wins in a season at the 2018/19 season finale on Sunday, 14 July.
Lifetime Achievement Award, the season’s Champion Trainer award and the winner of the Tony Cruz Award for the season’s leading homegrown rider will be revealed and presented during racing at Sunday’s season finale at Sha Tin.