The progressive Beauty Only (5g Holy Roman Emperor-Goldendale, by Ali-Royal) saw off a top-class international field at Sha Tin on Sunday to win the the HK$23 million G1 LONGINES Hong Kong Mile.
The son of Holy Roman Emperor prevailed by a half-length from Helene Paragon. A fast pace set the race up for the closing horses and the winner was too strong despite jockey Zac Purton fearing he may have had to ‘press the button’ sooner than ideal.
“He was really good today,” Purton said. “I think we’re just starting to see the best of him. He’s always been so honest but now that he’s fully matured and acclimatised we’re really seeing what he can do.
“He is much improved this season and he was very strong out there today. Hughie (Bowman) pushed off the fence about the 700 (metres), which made me have to go a bit earlier than I wanted to but the horse has got a big set of lungs and kept running. We set sail after the leaders and he responded really well. I believe he can stretch out to 2,000 (metres) so there was no doubting him being strong at the end of the mile.”
Trainer Tony Cruz was perhaps even more effusive than Purton about what the future might hold for the five-year-old who was imported from Italy.
“I think we haven’t seen the best of him yet. From the day we bought him, we had high expectations with him and I’m so pleased to see how he has improved this season. He’s a good horse to handle, a real professional and he’s gone on as we thought he would after winning the lead-up race.
“We’ll generally keep him to local races but I’d look to the Yasuda Kinen in Japan as the mile and the firm ground there is perfect for him,” Cruz said.
Bred by Massimo Parri, Beauty Only came into Sunday’s race on the back of a victory in the G2 Jockey Club Mile last time out.