Voyage Warrior spearheads a three-strong challenge for trainer Ricky Yiu on Sunday’s Longines Hong Kong International Races card at Sha Tin.
Yiu is seeking a fourth win in the six-furlong Hong Kong Sprint after Fairy King Prawn (1999) and Sacred Kingdom (2007 and 2009), and Voyage Warrior arrives on the back of a narrow fourth over course and distance last month.
“I think he can (take the next step) – we have a good jockey – Karis Teetan is aboard him,” Yiu said.
Voyage Warrior is based at the Hong Kong Jockey Club’s Conghua facility and Yiu believes that is key to his Australian-bred’s improvement.
He added: “The feedback from Conghua has been really good – really good – my assistant trainer up there has been working him and he said he is going even better than last start and condition-wise he’s in top form.”
Teetan, who rode the gelding to his first two wins in 2019, is back in the plate for the first time since May last year.
“He needs a bit of give in the track but he’s still improving, I actually wouldn’t be surprised if he copes well with 1400 metres based on his pedigree in the future,” Yiu said.
Yiu also fields veteran Jolly Banner, who is likely to be an outsider of the field.
“I couldn’t be happier with him – he worked tremendously well this morning (Wednesday) with the work rider aboard him and he never moved on him – he was cruising,” Yiu said.
Mighty Giant is Yiu’s other runner on the card as he tackles Golden Sixty, Admire Mars, Beauty Generation and Waikuku in the Hong Kong Mile.
“He’ll have his final gallop on the grass on Thursday and one of the best jockeys from France is riding him – Pierre-Charles Boudot,” Yiu said.
“He’s in good nick, his last run over a mile was good – I’m expecting him to run well.”