Man of the moment Ricky Yiu Poon-fai says Hong Kong Derby (2,000m) hero Voyage Bubble might bypass April’s Group One Champions Mile for a shorter, non-black type assignment in May and rates Excellent Fighter as the most likely of his four last-start winners running on Sunday to go back to back.

Voyage Bubble is one of the 16 Champions Mile entries – eight from Hong Kong and eight from overseas – but Yiu is giving serious consideration to diverting his surprise first Derby winner away from an April 30 clash against, among others, Golden Sixty over the two-time Horse of the Year’s pet trip and towards the Class One Hong Kong Macau Trophy (1,400m) on May 13.

“We entered him for the Champions Mile, but it’s only the first stage of entries for that particular race. There’s a race later on in May we’re thinking of to run in, the Hong Kong Macau race,” Yiu said of his team’s short-term plans for Voyage Bubble.

“He’s not a 2,000m horse. [If] he ran again [over] the same trip against older horses, he’d be nowhere. This is why it’s a big concern to run him over 2,000m again, so we’ll put him back in the Champions Mile or even shorter, the 1,400m Hong Kong Macau Trophy.”

If Voyage Bubble skips the Champions Mile and makes his 12th start in the Hong Kong Macau Trophy, he will become this century’s first Derby winner not to make his next appearance in a Group-level event.

While 103-rater Voyage Bubble is the undisputed star of Yiu’s in-form stable, the trainer occupying second place in this season’s championship on 42 wins – 10 of those victories occurring this month – believes another galloper on the rise is Excellent Fighter.

“He’s only lightly raced. You haven’t seen the top of him yet,” Yiu said of Excellent Fighter, who rises in grade to contest the Class Three CUHK Alumni Cup (1,200m) following his Class Four win on March 5.

“Looking at the field, [it’s] not a particularly strong field. He carries 10 pounds lighter this time. He still holds his form really well. He’s got a good draw. He’s a very honest horse. He’ll perform again.”

Yiu feels his other last-start winners on the Sha Tin card – Colonel in the 1,200m curtain raiser, Darci Joy in the 1,600m sixth race and Pleasant Endeavour in the 1,000m eighth event that is likely to be run at a breakneck speed – hold decent chances, although he fears one of Colonel’s opponents.

“[Colonel] is a bottom Class Four, top Class Five horse. He’s carrying lighter this time with the same jockey [Silvestre de Sousa] on and a decent draw. I think he’ll be in the first three,” Yiu said.

“The main danger is David Hall’s horse, [Hong Kong Hall], with Zac Purton on. He’s only had one start over the 1,000m, but obviously, 1,000m is far too short for that kind of horse. He needs 1,200m.

“[Darci Joy] won in good style. It was a little bit of a surprise. He really hit the line well. I think, over the same trip, he’ll perform again.

“[Pleasant Endeavor’s] last few runs over 1,000m at Sha Tin have been very consistent. [It] looks to me he’s become an expert over 1,000m at Sha Tin.”

Yiu advises punters not to put a pen through his Class Four Graduate School Alumni Handicap (1,200m) representative, Chilli Baba, even though he went from finishing first on debut to finishing last second up and crossed the line in his recent Conghua trial 18 lengths adrift of all-the-way winner Beauty Champ.

“He’s still very green although he won first up over 1,000m at Sha Tin,” Yiu said of Chilli Baba. “In his second start over 1,200m, he drew wide and couldn’t handle the turn. In the trial at Conghua, he didn’t like the kickback. He just gave up.

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“He’s still learning because he’s only three. [He’s] still unpredictable. He’s never stopped growing. He’s still in the growing stage and mentally, he’s still not quite ready. He needs some time.”

Yiu also saddles Winwin Thirtythree, Diamond Flare, Super Baby and Golden Link at Sha Tin.