John Moore has not given up hope of taking his fading superstar Beauty Generation overseas despite admitting age is catching up with the seven-time Group One winner.
The seven-year-old holds an entry for the Group One Dubai Turf (1,800m) at Meydan on March 28 but may have missed his chance to shine away from home after losing his aura of invincibility in recent months.
However Moore hopes a strong showing in Sunday’s Group One Stewards’ Cup (1,600m) could convince Beauty Generation’s owners – the Kwok family – to compete on foreign soil.
“I’ve got to sit down with Patrick [Kwok Ho-chuen] and his father [Simon] and a lot will depend on this race to whether he travels or not,” Moore said.
“If he puts in a really big run and finishes first or second I think consideration has to be given to travelling.”
Moore believes the bright lights of the Dubai World Cup meeting could even rejuvenate Beauty Generation, who has lacked his customary fight in the latter stages of his past three starts.
“I’d like to put him on the other leg, 1,800m with the gate speed that he’s got and going anticlockwise – just reboot his mind and sharpen him up a bit,” Moore said. “I think the trip would be a positive step at this time of his career.”
Beauty Generation faces only six rivals in Sunday’s race but among them is Waikuku, who has finished ahead of him three times on the bounce and is on an upwards trajectory.
On the positive side for the reigning Horse of the Year is that he showed Zac Purton an increased level of enthusiasm in a recent barrier trial and Moore is pleased with his champion’s preparation.
“He’s done everything right, freshened up and Zac’s feedback was positive. Hopefully he turns up on Sunday in the right frame of mind to give the race a shake,” he said.
“He’s sound, OK age has definitely caught up with – because of his three lacklustre runs we had to finally admit that age has caught up with him and is having an impact – but I’m hoping the Beauty Generation of old can turn up on the weekend.”
Moore also saddles up Thanks Forever on Sunday in the afternoon’s other Group One – the Centenary Sprint Cup – and hopes the booking of Grant van Niekerk can get the best out of his inconsistent four-year-old.
“He’s got lovely soft hands and I think it’s a great engagement,” Moore said of Van Niekerk,
who partners Thanks Forever for the first time.
While the Centenary Sprint Cup also boasts only seven runners, heavy hitters Beat The Clock, Mr Stunning, D B Pin and Hot King Prawn are all stepping out.
Thanks Forever enters the race on the back of a third-placed finish behind Big Party in the Group Three Bauhinia Sprint Trophy (1,000m) but did win over six furlongs at Class Two level in November.
“I must admit after that 1,000m run I think he is looking for 1,200m now,” Moore said. “He’s settled into the fact that he’s comfortable going around the corner. I’m hoping we can just drop him in behind this time and hopefully get a cushy run.
“He’s been a bit on and off, he runs a good race and the next start he’ll be lacklustre so I’m hoping he can bring his A game to the races on the weekend and pick up some good prize money.”