Beauty Eternal’s class shines in Group 3 Lion Rock Trophy

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Beauty Eternal confirmed elite potential at Sha Tin on Sunday as he strode to a comfortable success in the $3.9 million Group 3 (1600m) under jockey for trainer .

Taking a first victory at Group 3 level this afternoon, Beauty Eternal (122lb) enhanced his record to six wins from nine starts and took his career earnings to HK$12.32 million as he downed five rivals, including the Group 1-placed Beauty Joy (135lb).

Stepping away smoothly from barrier three, the four-year-old chestnut settled third in the run as (117lb) set the pace ahead of Circuit Stellar (118lb). Turning for home, Purton crept towards the leading pair aboard Beauty Eternal and set his mount loose for a one and a quarter length score as the race's favourite.

2023 Group 3 Rock Lion Trophy Handicap – Beauty Eternal

Third in the 2023 Hong Kong Derby (2000m) in March, Beauty Eternal – rated 106 locally before Sunday's win – returned at the end of April for a smart Class 2 score before coming unstuck on yielding ground in May's Class 1 Hong Kong Macau Trophy Handicap (1400m).

“He's done a very good job this season, he just continues to front up every time John (Size) has asked him to and he's been very consistent in doing that over a number of distances.

“And he's obviously had to come back (from the ) and he struck the wet track and everything that was thrown at him but he's been able to absorb all of that and still turn up and today he just drew the right gate, had the right run, was well weighted and once he got into the position he was in, it was then up to this level – and maybe a little bit more – and I think he did that,” Purton said.

Circuit Stellar finished in second position, while Beauty Joy crossed the line third. The time of the race was 1:33.34s.

The win was Purton's second in the Lion Rock Trophy after Beauty Joy (2022), while Size also collected his second after Champion's Way (2019).

“He (Beauty Eternal) still had a bit more rating to go, so he's probably done what he was expected to do. He's been up a long time, he's done a good job and he just keeps racing well,” Size said. “We'll see what he's like at home (regarding another start this season).”

Beauty Eternal – sired by Starspangledbanner – dons the familiar black, pink and white silks of owner Patrick Kwok, who also raced superstar .

The Group 3 (1400m) and Group 3 Handicap (1800m) are the season's final Group races on June 25.

Purton later sealed a Group 3 double on today's card as Lucky claimed the Group 3 (1200m).

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