A hallmark late charge from Beauty Only (5g Holy Roman Emperor-Goldendale, by Ali-Royal) snatched the G2 BOCHK Wealth Management Jockey Club Mile at Sha Tin on Sunday.
Zac Purton drove the Tony Cruz-trained G1 LONGINES Hong Kong Mile candidate, bred in Ireland by Massimo Parri, to a last nod success from stablemate Romantic Touch.
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.
“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.”
Hong Kong’s former champion jockey is looking forward to riding the son of Holy Roman Emperor in the HK $23 million LONGINES Hong Kong Mile on December 11.
“Tony always gets his horses to peak on the big days and he’s left a little bit there for December,” said the jockey.
Cruz added: “I expected him to win today. Beauty Only has great potential. 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.”