Young superstar Voyage Warrior was again sublime on his way to a blistering win at Sha Tin on Monday and already trainers are avoiding the lightning-fast three-year-old.
Both Danny Shum Chap-shing and Jimmy Ting Koon-ho have admitted they avoided taking horses to the 1,000m Class Three at Sha Tin on Easter weekend, which Voyage Warrior won with ease in just 54.89 seconds.
Shum’s Golden Dash and Ting’s Yee Cheong Baby will instead run in Wednesday night’s Class Three Seoul Handicap (1,000m) at Happy Valley.
Promising four-year-old Golden Dash, who makes his debut at the city track, is stepping out for the first time since October.
“I trialled him and actually I wanted to run him [on Monday] but I moved to Happy Valley because he can’t beat [Voyage Warrior],” Shum said. “I’m looking forward to him running again.”
Golden Dash is back at the track after returning with blood in his trachea after his most recent start and bleeding in a trial in December, with Shum managing him carefully during his comeback.
“After he bled I didn’t push him too hard. He’s OK but he’s not 100 per cent fit at the moment, but he has a lot of energy and he’ll run well,” Shum said.
After winning twice from four starts in his debut season – once at 1,000m and once at 1,200m – Golden Dash produced a second and a fourth earlier this term with South African Callan Murray in the saddle.
Murray has since departed for Singapore and Vincent Ho Chak-yiu climbs aboard for the first time, with Shum hopeful the in-form Hongkonger can get the best out of the horse.
“He’s a good jockey, the horse is fresh and 1,000m, he can handle that,” Shum said. “Hopefully he will be winning again soon.”
Yee Cheong Baby is having his first start in Hong Kong after a promising beginning to his career in Australia, where he stepped out in the Group Two Silver Slipper (1,100m) and ran second to the impressive Graff at Group Three level.
The three-year-old has settled in nicely since arriving in Hong Kong in November, winning well in both of his trials, and will be ridden by champion jockey Zac Purton on Wednesday.
“He is a nice horse and I wanted to run him on Monday in the 1,000m, but [Voyage Warrior] is too strong so I needed to run him on Wednesday,” Ting said.
“In Australia he was a front-runner and he was very fast, so I think he can handle Happy Valley.”
Yee Cheong Baby has shown he can perform well at the Valley, winning the second of his trials by over four lengths at the city track, and Ting thinks he can arrive on the scene with a bang.
“He trialled well at Happy Valley and I think he can win already,” Ting said. “He won easy and in a fast time, so I think he can handle this.”
Also in the race is the Frankie Lor Fu-chuen-trained Frustrated, who is chasing a hat-trick of victories at his first start in Class Three, and Benno Yung Tin-pang’s last-start course and distance winner Dream Come True.