Classic Cup next step for Voyage Bubble

Declan Schuster

17/02/2023 15:14

Voyage Bubble trials at Sha Tin under Dylan Mo.
Voyage Bubble trials at Sha Tin under Dylan Mo.

Ricky Yiu is confident Voyage Bubble can continue to raise the bar when his leading four-year-old lines up in Sunday week’s (26 February) HK$12 million Hong Kong Classic Cup (1800m) at Sha Tin – the second leg of the 2023 Four-Year-Old Classic Series.

Having led and won the HK$12 million Hong Kong Classic Mile (1600m) at the end of January, Voyage Bubble will once again be paired with Jamie Kah as he looks to continue a dazzling advance – one that Yiu believes is far from over.

“He’ll be very competitive if he does what he did last time. He’s still improving, his rating is currently below 100 but eventually he should get over that, this is my goal with the horse,” Yiu said.

Voyage Bubble – by Deep Field – has already shot-up 41 points to a career-high rating of 93, thanks in part to his go-forward, catch me if you can style of racing which proved successful last start under a measured Jamie Kah in the first leg of the three-race age-restricted series.

The Australian-bred tuned-up impressively at Sha Tin’s barrier trial session this morning (Friday, 17 February) under Dylan Mo, clocking 1m 09.28s out in front by a spacing three lengths to fellow four-year-old Sword Point, while Waikuku and Money Catcher finished down the field.

Voyage Bubble leads throughout this morning.

“He’s still a fraction slow when he jumps. Dylan was saying that he was loaded quite early, so he stood there for a while but after 100 or 200 metres, when he started going he really stretched out – he won’t stop, especially in the straight, he’ll just keep extending,” Yiu said.

Kah racked and stacked the field last start, scoring by one and a quarter lengths over Tuchel and Packing Treadmill, while the majority of the field failed to make up any ground whatsoever.

“It was a nice and easy trial but he had a nice blow, we’ll keep him fresh after this trial. Dylan said the horse is very fit, he’s well and he was amazed – he couldn’t stop him, he kept going,” Yiu said.

Yiu has also engaged Kah to ride several of his other runners on Sunday week’s undercard.

“She’ll ride Good News who finished a good third last time, there’s a few more also,” he said.

Prince Of Porty chases consecutive wins

Prince Of Porty (middle) scores on debut.
Prince Of Porty (middle) scores on debut.

Zac Purton is looking to extend Prince Of Porty’s unbeaten record to two when he gets the leg-up on the Wandjina gelding in Sunday’s (19 February) Class 4 TVB Tung Wah Charity Show Handicap (1200m) at Sha Tin.

The David Hall-trainee won first-up in Hong Kong under Purton over 1000m last month, toughing it out to prevail by a nose as the race’s second favourite.

“He had to dig deep and find and he was certainly up to the task. He’s a horse that, I think, has a bit of a will to win and hopefully he carries that on,” Purton said.

Prince Of Porty will carry 134lb against 13 rivals including Happy Fat Cat (135lb), Moduleconstruction (129lb) and the Ricky Yiu-trained Green N White (129lb), who has impressed ahead of his debut this weekend under Silvestre de Sousa.

“We trialled him (Prince Of Porty) around the corner recently, although he was on the wrong legs he seemed to trial quite well. He’s drawn a good gate, he’s going to be in a good spot and I like the way he went first-up,” Purton said.

Purton will partner Sinba for trainer Jamie Richards later on in the Class 3 TVB Midlife, Sing & Shine Handicap (1600m). Richards is planning to back the Xtravagant four-year-old up in Sunday week’s (26 February) Hong Kong Classic Cup (1800m).

“The horse is in good form – he’s a horse with a good constitution, he’s got a nice way of going. The plan has always been to give him a little bit of time to get over that last run with a view to backing up into the Classic Cup, knowing that he has a good demeanour and constitution – I think he’ll be able to handle it,” Richards said. 

The HK$3.465 million Class 1 TVB Yan Oi Tong Charity Show Handicap (1400m) is the highest-quality race on Sunday’s fixture where Lyle Hewitson will reunite with Turin Redsun – who returns following lengthy a freshen up – for trainer Douglas Whyte.

“He’s obviously a horse with ability, he’s raced consistently well at this level and last season he performed well and his win at the end of last season was quite impressive,” Hewitson said.

Turin Redsun wins at the end of last season.

Turin Redsun (118lb) returns for the first time since November last year to face six rivals: Beauty Joy (135lb), Cordyceps Six (128lb), Healthy Happy (125lb), Blaze Warrior (119lb), The Golden Scenery (117lb) and Beluga (115lb).

“Even his (Turin Redsun) form in the Four-Year-Old Classic Series was strong and he’s seemed to maintain that.

“He was just tapering off a little in his last few runs, although running at the highest level, he just didn’t seem 100 percent, so Douglas gave him a little bit of time off to freshen him up and it seems to have done him a world of good,” Hewitson said.

2021 G2 Mill Reef Stakes (1200m) winner Wings Of War – formerly with Clive Cox in Great Britain – makes his debut in the Class 3 TVB Wai Yin Association Special Handicap (1200m) for trainer Tony Millard as part of a stacked 10-race fixture at Sha Tin which kicks off at 1pm with the Class 5 TVB Charity Fund Handicap (1400m).

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