By Andrew Hawkins
Most of trainer John Moore’s focus will be on G1 Audemars Piguet Queen Elizabeth II Cup runners Werther and Designs On Rome throughout this week in the lead-up to the HK$20 million feature, but Moore also has a strong hand in the G3 Queen Mother Memorial Cup (2400m) on Sunday’s (30 April) undercard.
Moore confirmed on Monday morning (24 April) that he would be sending four horses to Hong Kong’s only 2400m handicap, with four-year-olds Beauty Generation (133lb), Eagle Way (127lb) and Helene Charisma (124lb) set to be joined by Basic Trilogy (130lb) in the HK$3 million race. All four horses worked on the turf course on Monday morning and the handler is pleased with their progress.
“They all worked well and I’m as happy as I can be six days out from a big race,” Moore said. “In particular, Helene Charisma and Eagle Way worked very smartly. Joao (Moreira) was really pleased with Eagle Way; in fact, he asked why he wasn’t running in the QEII, but I said that this has always been my plan leading into the Champions & Chater Cup and we’ll go from there.”
Moreira partnered Eagle Way in a gallop with Beauty Generation on the grass, the pair clocking 1m 16.4s for 1200m (26.8s, 26.6s, 23.0s). Beauty Generation was ridden by a riding boy this morning, but will be partnered by Zac Purton on Sunday.
Helene Charisma, under Douglas Whyte, and Basic Trilogy also recorded a time of 1m 16.4s for the 1200m in splits of 27.0s, 26.6s and 22.8s. Basic Trilogy will be ridden on Sunday by Sam Clipperton.
“This was always the plan with all of these horses though, to stay away from Werther,” Moore continued. “The QEII is a tough race and this allows them a better progression towards the G1 next month and then potentially to bigger targets next season. We can find out here who is the superior stayer amongst them.”
Beauty Generation and Eagle Way fought for the spoils in the main lead-up race, a 2200m Class 2 at the track on 9 April, with the former prevailing by a short head; Helene Charisma crossed the line fifth. This came after all three horses contested the BMW Hong Kong Derby (2000m), finishing third, sixth and fifth respectively behind their stablemate Rapper Dragon.
Basic Trilogy emerges from different form lines. He ran fourth in the G1 Citi Hong Kong Gold Cup (2000m) behind Werther, but has disappointed in two runs since, finishing 12th in a Class 2 over the Sha Tin 1800m and 11th in the Class 1 Happy Valley Vase (1800m) last start.
The Queen Mother Memorial Cup has attracted 14 entries, with half of the field consisting of beaten Derby runners. Moore’s trio of four-year-olds is joined by Derby seventh Prawn Baba (121lb), ninth Circuit Hassler (113lb), 10th Gold Mount (122lb) and 11th Dinozzo (118lb).
Other entrants include G1 winner Helene Super Star (115lb), G3 winner Supreme Profit (127lb) and last year’s second and fourth in Anticipation (120lb) and Renaissance Art (114lb), with Happilababy (115lb) and Andoyas (113lb) completing the line-up.
Eagle Way (blue cap) with Joao Moreira in the saddle works with Beauty Generation on the grass this morning.
Helene Charisma, under Douglas Whyte, gallops with Basic Trilogy (the grey) today at Sha Tin.