Voyage Warrior’s win in the Class 4 Pine Tree Hill Handicap (1000m) at Sha Tin on Sunday night has been lauded as one of the most impressive debut performances in recent memory in Hong Kong.
Bred by Bob Emery, Voyage Warrior is a half-brother to New Zealand stakes winner Speech Craft.
A graduate of both the New Zealand Bloodstock National Yearling Sales and the New Zealand Bloodstock Ready to Run Sale, Voyage Warrior was sold for $280,000 as a two-year-old to Hong Kong trainer Ricky Yiu and a big debut performance had been expected.
Jockey Karis Teetan found the lead easily from the rail-side gate 14 and the inexperienced Declaration Of War gelding relished the trail-blazing role, with the chestnut eased down to win by four-lengths.
“The horse showed a great turn-of-foot and he’s done nothing wrong so far. He’s a very exciting horse to progress,” Yiu said after his charge had stopped the clock at 56.65s, with a final 400m split of 22.67s.
“They’ll give him a double-digit rise in rating so he’ll go into Class 3 now but if I keep running him over the thousand (metres) he will win a couple more, at least. He just needs to learn to settle – that will make him a better horse,” Yiu said.
“He’s still green, he’s still learning. He was running around a little bit towards the last furlong and the jockey got a little bit excited and dropped his stick – but he didn’t need it anyway.”
– NZ Racing Desk