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Beauty Only nicks the Jockey Club Mile

20/11/2016

By David Morgan

Beauty Only’s hallmark late charge snatched the G2 BOCHK Wealth Management Jockey Club Mile this afternoon (Sunday, 20 November) – but only just. Zac Purton drove the G1 LONGINES Hong Kong Mile candidate to a last nod success from stablemate and 96/1 outsider, Romantic Touch.

“Today I expected him to win,” trainer Tony Cruz said. “I also expected Romantic Touch to put in a big race, but I didn’t expect him to run second!”

Beauty Only was sent off the marginal second pick at 3.3, with last season’s champion miler Sun Jewellery the 3.2 favourite. The latter delivered a strong challenge for honours half-way down the home straight, vying with Romantic Touch at the 150-metre point. But Beauty Only was already at full tilt, casting a shadow on that duo’s stands side flank.

“The race was run at a nice tempo for me, I thought, and I came out with plenty of time at the top of the straight – I thought he’d put them away pretty comfortably. I knew coming down to the 200 though that it was going to be a fight, but I always felt he was going to get there,” Purton said.

Get there, he did. Beauty Only responded to the Australian’s powerful urging to nick the result by a short-head with the same distance back to Sun Jewellery. The Italian import’s winning time was 1m 33.79s with a final 400m split of 22.29s – it was his sixth win at start 23 in Hong Kong.

“He’s a very intelligent horse and I suppose he just does what he has to do and as long as he’s doing that (winning) we’re happy,” Purton said. Hong Kong’s former champion jockey is looking forward to riding the Holy Roman Emperor gelding in the HK$23 million LONGINES Hong Kong Mile next month.

“Tony always gets his horses to peak on the big days and he’s left a little bit there for December. He’ll turn the screw now, and we need to,” said the jockey, who notched a four-timer on the day.

The win was a second Jockey Club Mile triumph for Purton, the rider having claimed the prize in 2009 with Fellowship, and a fourth for Cruz, who scored previously with Lucky Owners (2003), Egyptian Ra (2008) and Beauty Flame (2015).

“Beauty Only has great potential,” Cruz said of the 2015 Hong Kong Classic Mile victor. “He’s a really solid miler and he needs a firm track. There looks to be a lot of kick-back (on the turf) today and Zac said there was and that the horse didn’t really like it. He loves real fast ground.

“I believe he can be a big player on International day. He’s a much better racehorse than this time last year. He’s much more professional and he’ll be spot on for the big day – I’m looking forward to it.”

Joao Moreira was pleased with Sun Jewellery’s performance, an improvement on the five-year-old’s first-up sixth in the G2 Sha Tin Trophy (1600m) last month.

“It was a great run,” Moreira said. “Compared to his last run, it was much better and I expect him to be better again next start.”

The race’s hard luck story was Helene Paragon. John Moore’s rising star miler was squeezed out and impeded approaching the final 200m just as Hugh Bowman was unleashing the four-year-old for a sprint to the wire.

“He was unlucky,” Bowman said. “He was held up at a crucial stage in the race. You’d expect him to improve on that next start.”

Hong Kong racing resumes at Happy Valley on Wednesday, 23 November, when the selected runners for the LONGINES HKIR will be announced.

Photo 1, 2, 3<br>
Tony Cruz-trained Beauty Only (No. 3), ridden by Zac Purton, edges Romantic Touch (No. 10) to win the G2 BOCHK Wealth Management Jockey Club Mile at Sha Tin Racecourse today.
Photo 1:
Photo 1, 2, 3
Tony Cruz-trained Beauty Only (No. 3), ridden by Zac Purton, edges Romantic Touch (No. 10) to win the G2 BOCHK Wealth Management Jockey Club Mile at Sha Tin Racecourse today.


Photo 2


Photo 3

Connections of Beauty Only celebrate their success after the race.
Photo 4:
Connections of Beauty Only celebrate their success after the race.

Photo 5, 6, 7<br>
Hong Kong Jockey Club Steward Philip Chen presents the BOCHK Wealth Management Jockey Club Mile winning trophy and silver dishes to Beauty Only¡¦s owner Patrick Kwok Ho Chuen, winning trainer Tony Cruz and jockey Zac Purton.
Photo 5:
Photo 5, 6, 7
Hong Kong Jockey Club Steward Philip Chen presents the BOCHK Wealth Management Jockey Club Mile winning trophy and silver dishes to Beauty Only¡¦s owner Patrick Kwok Ho Chuen, winning trainer Tony Cruz and jockey Zac Purton.


Photo 6


Photo 7

Lam Kwong Siu, Vice Chairman of BOC International Holdings Limited, presents a souvenir to the owner representative of Beauty Only.
Photo 8:
Lam Kwong Siu, Vice Chairman of BOC International Holdings Limited, presents a souvenir to the owner representative of Beauty Only.

Mrs Ann Kung Yeung Yun Chi, Deputy Chief Executive of Bank of China (Hong Kong) Limited, presents a crystal trophy to trainer Tony Cruz.
Photo 9:
Mrs Ann Kung Yeung Yun Chi, Deputy Chief Executive of Bank of China (Hong Kong) Limited, presents a crystal trophy to trainer Tony Cruz.

Wendy Tsang Kam Yin, Managing Director, Head of Private Banking of Bank of China (Hong Kong), presents a crystal trophy to jockey Zac Purton.
Photo 10:
Wendy Tsang Kam Yin, Managing Director, Head of Private Banking of Bank of China (Hong Kong), presents a crystal trophy to jockey Zac Purton.

Club Chairman Dr Simon Ip, Club Stewards, CEO Winfried Engelbrecht-Bresges, senior officials of BOC International Holdings and Bank of China (Hong Kong) Limited, and connections of Beauty Only, smile for cameras in the BOCHK Wealth Management Jockey Club Mile trophy presentation ceremony.
Photo 11:
Club Chairman Dr Simon Ip, Club Stewards, CEO Winfried Engelbrecht-Bresges, senior officials of BOC International Holdings and Bank of China (Hong Kong) Limited, and connections of Beauty Only, smile for cameras in the BOCHK Wealth Management Jockey Club Mile trophy presentation ceremony.

Connections of Beauty Only share their joy after the race.
Photo 12:
Connections of Beauty Only share their joy after the race.

Club Chairman Dr Simon Ip, senior officials from HKJC, senior officials from BOC International Holdings and Bank of China (Hong Kong) Limited, and the owner of race winner Beauty Only, toast for the success of the BOCHK Wealth Management Jockey Club Mile.
Photo 13:
Club Chairman Dr Simon Ip, senior officials from HKJC, senior officials from BOC International Holdings and Bank of China (Hong Kong) Limited, and the owner of race winner Beauty Only, toast for the success of the BOCHK Wealth Management Jockey Club Mile.

Ms Sally Liu Saili, Deputy General Manager, Channel Management Department, Bank of China (Hong Kong) Limited, presents a HK$2,000 prize to the stables assistant responsible for Joyful Trinity, the best turned out horse in the BOCHK Wealth Management Jockey Club Mile.
Photo 14:
Ms Sally Liu Saili, Deputy General Manager, Channel Management Department, Bank of China (Hong Kong) Limited, presents a HK$2,000 prize to the stables assistant responsible for Joyful Trinity, the best turned out horse in the BOCHK Wealth Management Jockey Club Mile.

 

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