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Massive Sovereign impresses in Happy Valley trial ahead of FWD QEII Cup

3 minute read

Unbeaten after a meteoric start to his Hong Kong career, Massive Sovereign tuned up for the HK$28 million G1 FWD QEII Cup (2000m) at Sha Tin on 28 April with an eye-catching Happy Valley trial this morning (Friday, 19 April).


Allowed to settle at the tail of the field by Zac Purton, the BMW Hong Kong Derby (winner) scythed along the inside of the 10-horse field to finish second behind Senor Toba , who clocked 1m 50.30s over 1700m.

"He (Massive Sovereign ) did everything right, as he always does. Cruised around, enjoyed it and pulled up well," Purton said of Dennis Yip's former Irish galloper, who will challenge fellow BMW Hong Kong Derby victor and six-time Group 1 winner Romantic Warrior on Sunday week.

"He feels good and he's come through his run well. Dennis gave him a nice little break after the Derby. He's been blowing a little bit in his work, so it was nice that we had the opportunity to trial him this morning.


"(The FWD QEII Cup) is an opportunity to see how he stacks up against those horses. There was nowhere else for him to go, so he has to take that step and hopefully he's able to. We've got to get him to the race, in the race and see how he measures up.

"On ratings he's a long way off them but he's only at the start of his career and the other horses have been around for a while."

Yip is content with Massive Sovereign, who advanced to a stunning Derby victory after a spectacular debut win at Sha Tin on 3 March.

"I'm very happy. I think he's still improving. This morning after the trial, Zac reported to me that the horse go quite easy. He (Purton) didn't ask him to go, but the horse still wanted to go in the straight. It was easy (work) – very easy.

"I think there will be two more gallops for him – one on the grass, not too hard, just easy," Yip said.

LITTLE BROSE  Picture: Colin Bull / Sportpix

 Caspar Fownes says Straight Arron has coped well with his return to Hong Kong after a fine sixth in the G1 Dubai Turf (1800m) at Meydan on 30 March and is shaping well for the FWD QEII Cup after finishing seventh in a 1200m trial this morning behind Storming Dragon in 1m 13.46s.

"Just brought him out on the track with a nice bit of give in it this morning and decided to trial him over 1200 (metres) just to keep him on the fresh side and I was happy with it. He closed off nicely," Fownes said.

"Everything is good, he's in good form. Obviously, it's going to be a little bit tough when they don't have much of a break between runs and travelling back and all that but he's in good form, his coat is very shiny so he presents well that way – you just have to hope he brings it to the races."

David Hayes-trained Little Brose will tackle the HK$22 million G1 Chairman's Sprint Prize (1200m) after finishing seventh over 1200m in the third batch of trials behind Packing Power (1m 13.24s).

"He's an interesting horse, he comes to Hong Kong with a good reputation overseas as the winner of a Group One (Blue Diamond Stakes, 1200m for two-year-olds), so he's a really good horse and he gives you a good feel when you're sitting on him," Teetan said.

"He's in good shape, but it's a tough ask for him. The Sprint, with Lucky Sweynesse  being out, California Spangle  is going to be the horse that stands out but among the other Hong Kong horses, it's really open.

"So, if he gets the right run and he goes to the races feeling good, he's going to be an interesting runner."


Hong Kong Jockey Club

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