Hong Kong legend Beauty Only (7g Holy Roman Emperor-Goldendale, by Ali-Royal) revisited past glories at Sha Tin on Sunday afternoon, returning to form with a rattling late run to win an action-packed edition of the G2 Chairman’s Trophy over a mile.
“He was the horse of old there!” jockey Neil Callan said after his old ally had clocked a swift 22.14s for the final two furlongs. The winning time was 1m 32.84s, making it the second fastest mile ever run at Sha Tin.
“I’ve always thought this horse was a superstar,” trainer Tony Cruz said. “His last run was poor but he’s a fast-ground horse and he needs a fast-run race, that’s what he got today and he’s run three seconds faster than last time, so what does that say?”
The son of Holy Roman Emperor surged to a neck win over Western Express, sealing his second Chairman’s Trophy under Callan, two years after the first.
“Tony said to me that the owners were thinking about retiring him and I said ‘please, don’t,’ because I was sure he could win another top-level one this season, for sure,” Callan said.
“There aren’t many horses, when they get older, that can still run the last 400 metres in that time, especially considering the races haven’t been run to suit him; he’s been at the back and as he’s got that little bit older he just doesn’t have that sustained sprint from that far out.”
Sunday’s field of only nine rivals gave Callan confidence. “I just knew, with today’s smaller field, he could be two lengths closer by default and still run the same sections, so it was perfect for him,” he said.
Cruz is looking forward to the possibility of more big days with Beauty Only: “I’m going to meet with the owners now,” he said. “We keep going! He’s still ready to run.”
Bred by Massimo Parri, Beauty Only was a G3-winning two-year-old in Italy and his earnings now stand at £3.5 million with career highlights including victory in the G1 Hong Kong Mile.