Home Estate Planning Straight Arron out to burst Warrior’s Bubble

Straight Arron out to burst Warrior’s Bubble

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RACING fans have a treat in store at Sha Tin on Sunday, when champion middle-distance performer Romantic Warrior eye-balls 2023 Hong Kong Derby winner Voyage Bubble in the feature race on the 10-race programme, the £1.3m Citi Hong Kong Gold Cup (8.05am) over 10 furlongs.

There are not many more superlatives to describe the Danny Shum-trained superstar, who has won five Group One’s in his career, including the Cox Plate in Australia last October and the 2022 and 2023 editions of the LONGINES HK Cup over the course and distance.

Shum is planning another tilt at the FWD QEII Cup at Sha Tin in April, before making another audacious trip to take on the Japanese in their own backyard in the Yasuda Kinen over a mile in June.

First up he has to see off the highly progressive Voyage Bubble, a clear-cut winner of the Group One Stewards’ Cup over a mile last month, and previously the only galloper to catch a glimpse of Golden Sixty, when chasing home the legendary champ in the Hong Kong Mile on International Day in December.

This will be only the second time trainer Ricky Yiu has tested his galloper over 10 furlongs, having caused a shock in last year’s HK Derby, and there has to be a small doubt about him over this distance, despite champion Zac Purton jumping aboard.

Trainer Caspar Fownes has made no secret of the fact he has trained STRAIGHT ARRON primarily for this contest, since his unlucky fourth to Romantic Warrior in the LONGINES HK Cup in December.

On that occasion, he was badly impeded in the closing stages but was still beaten just under a length.

Fownes has always reckoned 10 furlongs is Straight Arron’s optimum distance, and he warmed up for this event with a fast finishing third, when carrying top-weight, over nine furlongs recently.

It may appear bordering on the ridiculous to oppose Romantic Warrior, but there is plenty of confidence coming from the Fownes camp, and he is capable of running a huge race.


Straight Arron  (e/w)                8.05am            Sha Tin      

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