Beauty Eternal (Starspangledbanner) wins G1 Champions Mile

Seventh G1 Winner for Starspangledbanner

It was supposed to be a fairytale farewell for Hong Kong superstar Golden Sixty in the Group I Champion’s Mile (1600m) at Sha Tin on Sunday, but Zac Purton rewrote the script on talented gelding Beauty Eternal (5g Starspangledbanner x Ithacan Queen, by Savabeel) leading all the way to win.

The John Size trained five year-old was placed in the Hong Kong Derby last year and won the Group II HKJC Jockey Club Mile last November before being consistent without winning in four subsequent G1 starts.

Rated perfectly in front for this assignment, he was strong all the way to the line beating his stablemate Red Lion by a length and a half with last year’s Hong Kong Derby winner Voyage Bubble in third place ahead of a gallant Golden Sixty.

“There was no speed in the race, which gave us the opportunity to lead,” said Zac Purton.

“The last thing I said to John [Size, trainer] before the race was ‘I think the going is a lot better on the fence’, he just got into a lovely rhythm and controlled the race and I thought the only chance I had to beat Golden Sixty was to try to put a gap on them and see how we went and today was his day.

“I always felt there was always something a bit more there, but he just always wants to do things wrong in the straight in his races and he can’t let down to his full potential – and today we saw that on the rail.”

Beauty Eternal has the overall record of nine wins and six placings from 17 starts.

A $90,000 Inglis Classic Highway Session purchase for John Foote Bloodstock from the Fernrigg Farm draft, Beauty Eternal is a half-brother to Group III placed Love Sensation and is the best of three winners from Ithacan Queen.

A placed daughter of Savabeel, Ithacan Queen comes from a deep European Black Type family featuring Group I winners such as Crowded House, Brando, Ticker Tape and Reckless Abandon.

Beauty Eternal was bred Peter Raftopolous, a self-professed “humble breeder with just a few mares”, so it was a result that he will forever be proud of.

“It’s my first G1 winner as a breeder and I’m over the moon,” he said.

“He’s been a very good horse in Hong Kong from the get-go and everything worked out perfectly for him to have a winning run tonight.

“He was a nice yearling, but one that looked like he would appreciate a little time, so John Size has done a masterful job with him and hopefully there is more to come.

“I’ve had some challenges with his dam in recent years, but she’s carrying to Home Affairs and hopefully she can carry to term, while I’ve also got Beauty Eternal’s Stakes placed half-sister Love Sensation in foal to Starspanglebanner, so that mating will produce a very close relative to Beauty Eternal.”

Beauty Eternal is the seventh Group I winner for Starspangledbanner, who went close to a Group I double with his quality Irish bred sprinter California Spangle (IRE) finishing second in the Group I Champion’s Sprint Prize.