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Voyage Bubble carries Yiu’s hopes in G1 Dubai Turf

March 29, 2024 at 3:50:41 AM

Aiming to secure a second major success at Meydan Racecourse, Ricky Yiu believes Voyage Bubble has the class and preparation to strongly contend in the HK$39 million G1 Dubai Turf (1800m) on Saturday (30 March).

Aiming to secure a second major success at Meydan Racecourse, Ricky Yiu believes Voyage Bubble has the class and preparation to strongly contend in the HK$39 million G1 Dubai Turf (1800m) on Saturday (30 March).

Yiu arrived in Dubai overnight to news 2023 BMW Hong Kong Derby (2000m) and 2024 G1 Stewards’ Cup (1600m) winner Voyage Bubble would jump from barrier one under Mickael Barzalona, with fellow Hong Kong contender Straight Arron in gate 12 for Brenton Avdulla.

“It’s a good draw. With the big, roomy track here, you save a lot of ground,” Yui said at Meydan. “It’s definitely an advantage to have a good draw here with the big, wider turn.

“I’ll leave it to the good jockey. He (Voyage Bubble) is fine, he seems to be enjoying himself and he’s adapted really well. We give him a bowl of feed and he finishes it in three minutes. Everything is in the right place.”

Narrowly beaten by Hong Kong middle distance champion Romantic Warrior in the G1 Citi Hong Kong Gold Cup (2000m) on 25 February, Voyage Bubble will have his first start over 1800m since finishing sixth in the 2023 Hong Kong Classic Cup (1800m) at Sha Tin.

Yiu entrusted the final stages of Voyage Bubble’s Dubai Turf preparation to his son Eric and work rider Britt McDonald and is impressed with the gelding’s progress.

“He’s doing really well, the feedback has been positive,” Yiu said. “When he first arrived, he lost about 35 pounds and then in a few days’ time, he was back on his normal weight – he was eating up – and he’s been working the left-handed way, not the Hong Kong way, and he’s coped with it really well.

“He’s had a good preparation and he’s not putting a step wrong.”

Yiu hopes Barzalona can provide his stable’s first Group 1 in Dubai since Amber Sky landed the Al Quoz Sprint under Joao Moreira in track record time of 56.21s in 2014 when the race was previously run over 1000m.

“European jockeys do well in Dubai, he (Barzalona) knows the track,” Yiu said. “This horse has been travelling between Hong Kong and Conghua and with the temperament he’s got, he doesn’t have any problem travelling.”

Voyage Bubble and Straight Arron will face 14 international rivals, including Lord North, who is bidding for a fourth Dubai Turf victory. John & Thady Gosden’s flagbearer will jump from barrier 11, Japanese star Do Deuce has drawn four for Yutaka Take, Charlie Appleby’s Measured Time starts from five and Danon Beluga steps away from gate 10 for Moreira.

California Spangle drew barrier five in the HK$11.7 million G1 Al Quoz Sprint (1200m) for Tony Cruz and Brenton Avdulla, while Sight Success will begin from gate 12 for John Size and Ryan Moore.

Godolphin’s Star Of Mystery has drawn eight for Frankie Dettori, Casa Creed has barrier six and Diligent Harry will start from two, while last year’s winner Danyah has gate seven.

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