Graham Cunningham: Beauty Generation gearing up for return after switching yards
Rain has hit Hong Kong hard this week but the forecast is much better for Happy Valley's latest Wednesday fixture. A few trainers are taking their time to get going but the leading jockeys have all hit the ground running and Zac Purton and Joao Moreira both have full books on an eight-race card which gets under way at 12.15 on Sky Sports Racing.
Beauty back on parade ahead of celebration showdown
A couple of mischievous colleagues couldn't resist pulling the leg of Beauty Generation's new trainer David Hayes as HK's highest-rated horse prepared for his first barrier trial of the new season on Tuesday morning. But Hayes is well prepared for high expectations after inheriting the HK star from John Moore and was more than happy with the way the veteran shaped under Zac Purton.
“He was beaten a bit for speed through the middle and then I thought he was strong through the line,” he said. “More importantly, Zac said he felt like his old self. I am still learning with him but I think he will tighten up so he will be ready to go in two weeks.”
The race Hayes has in mind is the Celebration Cup on September 27. Beauty Generation is bidding to win the Group 3 handicap for the fourth year running – but Derby hero Golden Sixty looms as a huge danger in receipt of 18lb.
Sky looks the limit for Fownes' new star
Not many trainers would react to a winner by doing the moonwalk for the cameras. But not many trainers are like Caspar Fownes, who switched from frustration to elation at Sha Tin on Sunday in the seconds it took Sky Field to burst out of a pocket and into contention for some valuable targets this season.
Fownes became edgy while watching Joao Moreira find trouble on the flashy chestnut but was all smiles soon after and clearly feels that Sky Field has a lot more to give. "He's special, he really excites me in the morning and he's a pleasure to work with as he's still raw. There's so much more there," he said.
Teetan hits 400 with thanks to Will Power
Karis Teetan's target for the season could be a first century and his strong start continued at Sha Tin with a treble supplied by Handsome Rebel, Will Power and Circuit Glory. Will Power's decisive all-weather success took Teetan through the 400 barrier in HK.
"I didn't even know I was so close but it's something special and it takes a lot of hard work," he said. "I left Mauritius for South Africa at 13 with nothing in my pocket but Hong Kong is home now and I appreciate everything about winning these races and meeting good people."
Racegoers return as third wave recedes
Slowly but surely is the mantra when it comes to getting racegoers back to Sha Tin and the Valley. As HK's third wave of coronavirus recedes, owners with starters were allowed to invite three guests last Sunday.
Measures will be relaxed further for this weekend's fixture as around 2000 members and 1000 paying public return, while most of HK's 100 betting shops will be open between 9.30am and 5pm on midweek racedays from now on for the first time in several months.
Bets can be placed into HK pools with the Tote, Coral and Ladbrokes