It was with a tinge of sadness that the career of arguably the best Malaysian bred galloper to grace the race tracks of this country came to an abrupt end following the running of the Group One Coronation Cup in Ipoh last month.
BEAUTIFUL CHOICE (Super Istana – Bliss) was foaled at the National Stud Farm on 26 August 2006 and carved out a memorable career on the Malaysian circuit with 13 wins, 11 seconds and 7 thirds from 67 starts overall.
The talented performer made his racing debut for trainer, John McGillvray in Ipoh on 14 November 2009 finishing 2nd in a NSF 3YO Maiden. The horse ran 3 seconds from 4 starts as a three year old. It was during his 4yo season that BEAUTIFUL CHOICE really established a platform for his recognised achievements including his first career win in a Class 5 contest at Ipoh on 26 September 2010.
BEAUTIFUL CHOICE went on to accumulate some of the lucrative stakemoney and bonuses on offer for locally bred horses by winning the NSF Wira Malaysia Cup twice in 2010 and 2011. He also took out the NSF Challenge Cup in 2011.
BEAUTIFUL CHOICE went on to compete in the higher graded races for the rest of his career and continued to race with success in various feature events throughout the country.
His first open age feature win was at the Ipoh Coronation Cup Meeting in 2012 when he scored by a nose in the 1800m Charity Cup (RM 250,000) at his third start for trainer, Wong Kong Fatt.
Overall, BEAUTIFUL CHOICE started in 16 Group Ones and his biggest victory was one of his best career performances when he sprinted from near last to take out the 2015 Gp1 Selangor Gold Cup as an 8yo, ridden by the late WT Chung. The horse was runner up twice in the Penang Governors Gold Cup (2013, 2015) and was also placed 2nd in 2014 Selangor Gold Cup.
BEAUTIFUL CHOICE (App WT Chung) (Outside) sprinting home to win the 2015 Selangor Gold Cup
BEAUTIFUL CHOICE had the attributes of most champion thoroughbreds in that he was versatile over most distances, adapted to any track conditions, possessed natural high speed and could accelerate from any point in a field regardless of race tempo.
He was owned by the Beautiful Choice Stable and raced under four trainers during his career including John McGillivray, Nor Azman, Bonny Ng and KF Wong.
BEAUTIFUL CHOICE may not have been the best race horse during his time but was in the top bracket for numerous seasons and was a valuable money spinner for his connections in a highly decorated career.
Unfortunately the 10yo sustained a major tendon and suspensory injury following his run in last month’s Coronation Cup and was humanely euthanized recently at the Perak Turf Club Equine Veterinary Hospital.
BEAUTIFUL CHOICE had a huge following among local punters as he was honest and gave 100% in each performance.
Malaysia’s best locally bred performer will be forever etched in the minds of local race goers and will be sadly missed. May he rest in peace.