Ricky Yiu, Alexis Badel continue BMW Hong Kong Derby momentum with Happy Valley success

Still coming to terms with landmark BMW Hong Kong Derby (2000m) success with Voyage Bubble at Sha Tin last weekend, Ricky Yiu continued a memorable season by claiming the Class 3 Police Cup Handicap (1200m) at Happy Valley on Wednesday night (22 March).


Confirming plans for Voyage Bubble  to travel to Conghua before tackling the G1 FWD Champions Mile (1600m) at Sha Tin on 30 April, Yiu combined with Karis Teetan to lift tonight's feature with Lucky Eight, a sparingly-raced Pride Of Dubai gelding.

"This horse (Lucky Eight ) is versatile. I can keep him at Happy Valley or I can take him back to Sha Tin. He's still got some improvement in him," Yiu said revealing he struggled to absorb the impact of last Sunday's BMW Hong Kong Derby achievement.


"I needed a couple of days," Yiu said. "It was a thrill and such a surprise – more than happy to win the Hong Kong Derby. I usually don't have stayers, most of my horses are sprinter-milers. But the horse (Voyage Bubble) did it."

Fittingly, Alexis Badel closed tonight's card with victory aboard Eason for Frankie Lor in the Class 3 Hollywood Handicap and, like Yiu, the Frenchman is still reconciling BMW Hong Kong Derby victory atop Voyage Bubble.

"It feels unreal. It feels like I'm still dreaming because I would never expect such a scenario," Badel said. "The gate (14), the way that I end up on this horse, the fact I came back from injury, suspensions – I just can't believe it."

John Size's decision to use Hugh Bowman on Savaquin was justified when the gelding returned to the winners' stall for the first time in 25 starts with victory in the Class 2 Arbuthnot Handicap (1650m).

Winless since triumphing at Sha Tin on 25 April, 2021, Savaquin secured his fourth victory for Size, adding to nine seconds and five thirds after Bowman delivered the Savabeel gelding with a powerful surge to deny Gorytus and Nearly Fine.

 Peter Ho's loyalty to Dylan Mo paid off when My Intelligent  sped to victory in the first section of the Class 4 Old Bailey Handicap (1200m), delivering Mo's second win of the season.

"He needs support and I'm happy to support him," said Ho, who took his stable tally of wins to 12 for the campaign. "Even though Karis rode this horse in a trial, I wanted to use Dylan. He's got a two-pound claim and he rides well.

"It's good to get another win for the stable. I'm still struggling, but it's good."

Angus Chung landed his first winner as a 7lb-claiming apprentice when Atomic Energy overcame inexperience to land the Class 4 Elgin Handicap (1000m) for Tony Cruz.

Chung, 26, had ridden only one of his previous 20 winners – all as 10lb-claiming apprentice – for the season at Happy Valley and was delighted to find the winners' stall on three-year-old Atomic Energy.

"My last winner here was four months ago so I just can't remember the feeling of winning at Happy Valley," Chung said. "This horse is still green, he didn't handle the tight track. He was sharp today, but he just needs more experience – he didn't handle the turn today, but he showed ability to hit the line very strong."

Unplaced in nine previous starts, To Infinity broke through for Jamie Richards in the Class 5 Lyndhurst Handicap (1650m) under a strong ride from Derek Leung.

"He's taken time to acclimatise, like a lot of horses, and we might have found the key to him – 1650m around Happy Valley seems to suit him," said Richards, who subsequently sealed a double when Vincent Ho guided Sixth Generation to an impressive win in the Class 4 Chancery Handicap.

One For All's withering speed from barrier nine proved decisive in the second section of the Class 4 Old Bailey Handicap (1200m) when the No Nay Never gelding powered to an early lead he would never surrender under Silvestre de Sousa.

Right As Rain  prevailed for the first time at his 15th start, benefitting from a ground-saving Karis Teetan ride to win the Class 4 Staunton Handicap (1800m) for David Hall.

"It was a good win and a great ride by Karis, who executed perfectly," Hall said. "He's (Right As Rain) found it difficult to get his nose in front, but he did a good job tonight.

Hong Kong racing continues at Sha Tin on Sunday (26 March).

Hong Kong Jockey Club