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

Voyage Bubble cruises to the post.

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

Preparing for the HK$32 million Hong Kong Mile (1600m) and a clash with Golden Sixty, 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 1:10.24s.

“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 Group 1 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 Group 2 BOCHK Private Wealth Jockey Club Mile (1600m) on November 19.

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 1:10.83s 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 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.

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 (December 3), including David Hall-trained Flying Ace.

“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.”

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