Holy Roman Emperor was billed as “Danehill’s heir apparent” in Hong Kong after his latest big-race success at Sha Tin on Sunday when Beauty Only (4c Holy Roman Emperor-Goldendale, by Ali-Royal) won the HKG1 Hong Kong Classic Mile.
Tony Cruz’s charge floored favourite Divine Calling and the highly-regarded Giant Treasure with an impressive turn-of-foot that left the two greys reeling, with regular rider Neil Callan aboard.
Next month’s HKG1 Hong Kong Classic Cup over 1,800 metres now beckons, followed by the four-year-old series’ blue riband finale, the HKG1 BMW Hong Kong Derby over 2,000 metres in March.
“You can only do what the horse has got for you and I’ve got a pretty good one. I don’t want to blow the trumpet too early but I think we’ve only seen a part of what he’ll do,” the winning rider stated.
As Callan asked his mount for an effort, the response was instant. Beauty Only swept to the lead and careered away to register a two and a quarter-length success, with a final 400 metres split of 22.99s.
“It was pretty instant,” said Callan, in reference to the Italian import’s burst of speed. “I’ve always felt that he was the type of horse that when he goes further he’s going to keep improving, but I think the more racing he’s getting here, the more speed he’s getting.
“He won first up and I was very impressed with him. I thought ‘oh, this could be a good one’. Then he won again and I was beginning to think ‘this could be a really good one’, but I’m just glad he had the glitch when we ran him a little bit differently three runs back. But I knew it was just a glitch, I knew he was better than that, and it was a better run next time. But I knew, even off that run last time out, he’d improve again, and I think he’ll keep improving.”
Cruz was delighted to have landed a fourth success in the race and commented: “This horse is a new star in Hong Kong, he’s on the rise and he will be one of the top horses in Hong Kong racing.”
Beauty Only, who was bred by Massimo Parri, was sold to race in Hong Kong after winning a G3 as a juvenile in Italy.
He is the latest star for Holy Roman Emperor in Hong Kong, prompting the TDN’s Alan Carasso to write “while Danehill may be gone, he continues to play a large role and in Holy Roman Emperor, he may have his heir apparent, at least in Hong Kong”.
His other runners include Designs On Rome (5g Holy Roman Emperor-Summer Trysting, by Alleged), winner of last year’s G1 Hong Kong Cup and G1 Queen Elizabeth II Cup while globetrotter Rich Tapestry (7g Holy Roman Emperor-Genuine Charm, by Sadler´s Wells) travelled to California in October to win the G1 Santa Anita Sprint Championship.
Meanwhile, Charles The Great (6g Holy Roman Emperor-Jojeema, by Barathea) continues to be one of Hong Kong’s top speedsters, winning the 2013 G2 Jockey Club Sprint.