Hong Kong Spot Plays: Beauty Generation returns in Celebration Cup
On Tuesday, October 1, Sha Tin racecourse in Hong Kong will host a National Day holiday card featuring a multitude of high-class races (first post time is 1:00 a.m. EDT).
By far the main attraction of the day is the Celebration Cup (G3), a 1,400-meter sprint that will serve as the seasonal debut for reigning Hong Kong Horse of the Year Beauty Generation. Top jockey Zac Purton will be in the saddle, and his other scheduled mounts include Mr Croissant and Aethero, two runners who rate strong chances later on the card.
I’m expecting a multi-win day from Purton, so part of me wonders if a viable wagering strategy might be to bet a win parlay featuring Purton’s best mounts. Why not take ~$20.80, bet it to win on Beauty Generation, parlay the (presumed) winnings onto Mr Croissant, and then parlay those winnings onto Aethero?
I’m tempted to give it a try, but if win parlays aren’t your style, here are a few other spot plays to consider:
Race 7: The Celebration Cup (Group 3 Handicap)
The sensational #1 Beauty Generation has nine consecutive victories against group stakes company to his credit, including five triumphs at the highest level. Even though he has a reputation as a superstar miler, cutting back to 1,400 meters for the Celebration Cup shouldn’t be any issue—he’s won his last four starts over this distance.
With his tactical speed and strong finishing kick, Beauty Generation should work out a perfect, unencumbered trip. He’s also found an easy spot to kick off his season. Although the Celebration Cup is a handicap, the maximum weight spread is just 20 pounds, so the majority of Beauty Generation’s low-rated rivals will be carrying more weight than their ratings warrant.
That’s why we’ll use #2 Southern Legend and #3 Citron Spirit underneath in the trifecta. Southern Legend, a Group 1 winner in Singapore, will carry his actual assignment of 119 pounds, while Citron Spirit—a capable Group 3 performer—will tote 113, just three pounds over what his rating designates.
$5.2 trifecta: 1 with 2,3 with 2,3 ($10.4)
Race 8: Shanghai Handicap (Class 3)
#2 Mr Croissant has come up short a couple of times against Golden Sixty over this class, course, and 1,200-meter distance, but hey, there’s no shame in losing to Golden Sixty—he’s a rising star with four wins from five starts.
Mr. Croissant is on the rise himself. Lightly raced with just a half-dozen runs under his belt, Mr Croissant has cracked the trifecta in his last five starts while repeatedly demonstrating a strong turn of foot. His rating has been on an upward swing all year, and he should improve again while making his second start of the 2019-20 season.
In addition to our win parlay, consider betting Mr Croissant in the quinella with #6 New Asia Sunrise.
$10.4 quinella: 2,6
Race 10: Beijing Handicap (Class 2)
Legendary trainer John Moore has group stakes ambitions for #4 Aethero, a highly promising Australia-bred sprinter with three wins from three starts. Aethero has never been headed at any call while winning by a minimum of 1 3/4 lengths, and he was particularly impressive in a Class 3 handicap over this course and 1,200-meter distance on July 1, recording a course-and-class-record time of 1:08.32.
Aethero should prevail on Tuesday, even while returning from a layoff, but it’s worth noting his course record was one of three established at Sha Tin on July 1—the turf course was very, very fast that day. Since Aethero is stepping up to Class 2 company, maybe it’s worth covering for the possibility of a runner-up effort by playing him in the quinella with #7 Fat Turtle, who clocked 1:08.20 when missing by a head over this class and distance on September 15.
$10.4 quinella: 4,7