Leading rider Zac Purton enjoyed a rocket run on young sprinting sensation Voyage Warrior in the Class 3 Ma On Shan Handicap (1000m) at Sha Tin in Hong Kong on Sunday to take home a treble.
“It was a good effort,” Purton said of the top-weight, who took his career tally to three wins and a second from four starts, all down the 1000m straight.
“He had to carry top-weight and Look Eras really served it up to him through the mid stages, so he had to absorb all that pressure as well. I thought he did a good job,” Purton said.
Purton partnered Voyage Warrior for the first time on Sunday, having inflicted the gelding’s only defeat the time before atop the highly-regarded Thanks Forever, who won that race in receipt of nearly 6kgs.
Trainer Ricky Yiu was delighted to see his charge, a horse he sourced from New Zealand, regain the winning thread.
“He gradually rolled to the outside, he didn’t even pull his stick – the winning jockey knows what kind of car he’s driving, it’s as simple as that,” he said.
And the trainer answered in the affirmative when asked if he would pitch Voyage Warrior into Group races in the first half of next season, should he continue to deliver.
“I would,” he said. “He’ll be four next season and there are some big races, feature races coming up that I really want him to participate in. I’ll gradually move him up to 1200 metres, it’s about time to run him round the bend, that’s the plan. He’s done well as a three-year-old, it’s been a long season and he won't run again this season.”
Bred by Waikato breeder Bob Emery, Voyage Warrior is a son of Stravinsky mare Chaleur.
The son of Declaration Of War was initially sold from the Henley Park draft during the Select session of the 2017 New Zealand Bloodstock National Yearling Sale for $55,000.
Voyage Warrior returned to Karaka later that year for the Ready to Run Sale, where he was knocked down to Yiu for $280,000 from the JK Farm draft. – NZ Racing Desk