Voyage Bubble, Beauty Eternal limber up for LONGINES HKIR with trial wins

Leo Schlink

30/11/2023 11:37

Voyage Bubble cruises to the post.
Voyage Bubble cruises to the post.

Bidding for breakthrough Group 1 success at the LONGINES Hong Kong International Races, Voyage Bubble and Beauty Eternal showed they are on target for the 10 December showpiece with solid trial wins at Sha Tin on Thursday morning (30 November).

Preparing for the HK$32 million LONGINES Hong Kong Mile (1600m) and a clash with Golden Sixty, BMW Hong Kong Derby (2000m) winner Voyage Bubble was the first to take to Sha Tin’s dirt circuit under James McDonald and closed steadily to win the 1200m hit-out by three-quarters of a length from Gallant Waking in 1m 10.24s.

“He trialled beautifully, really happy with him. He felt great and had a nice blow afterwards and he’ll improve from today’s hit-out,” McDonald.

Fourth in the G1 FWD Champions Mile (1600m) in April to Golden Sixty at his only Group 1 assignment so far, Ricky Yiu’s Voyage Bubble resumed with a third to Beauty Eternal in the G2 BOCHK Private Wealth Jockey Club Mile (1600m) on 19 November.

Beauty Eternal wins batch two.
Beauty Eternal wins batch two.

John Size-trained Beauty Eternal contested the second batch and covered ground under Zac Purton before edging Silver King by a short head while clocking 1m 10.83s with a performance which pleased Purton.

“His trial was good. He trialled around the outside and did what he had to do. He has come through his last run nicely and trialled well again today. It looks like he’s ready,” the Australian said.

Golden Sixty will chase a record-equalling third victory in the LONGINES Hong Kong Mile against last year’s winner California Spangle and a cluster of Japanese raiders led by Danon The Kid, Serifos, Namur, Divina and Soul Rush and also France’s Tribalist.

Zac Purton leads the Hong Kong jockeys’ championship.
Zac Purton leads the Hong Kong jockeys’ championship.

With 32 wins for the season so far, Purton leads the Hong Kong jockeys’ championship by 11 from Karis Teetan (21) and Hugh Bowman (21) as the Australian bids for a seventh title.

Purton has nine rides at Sha Tin this Sunday (3 December), including David Hall-trained Flying Ace in the Class 2 The Peninsula Golden Jubilee Challenge Cup (1200m).

“He (Flying Ace) has been drawn on the outside all season and it’s been a bit hard for him, but he’s run very well,” Purton said. “The horse is going well, and he’s trialled well on the dirt before, so I don’t think that’s an issue.

“We’ve just got to get the right tempo for him, because he can overdo it a little bit. Hopefully, they can help him out and he can get the job done – he deserves a win.”

Sunday’s (3 December) 10-race Sha Tin meeting starts with the Class 5 Ashley Handicap (1650m, dirt) at 1pm.

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