Yip Confident Of Massive Sovereign’s FWD QEII Cup Chances

Dennis Yip has issued an ominous warning to Massive Sovereign’s rivals – including world-class stayer Romantic Warrior – in Sunday’s (28 April) HK$28 million G1 FWD QEII Cup (2000m) at Sha Tin.

After his last start victory in the BMW Hong Kong Derby (2000m), Yip said the four-year-old had continued to improve and he is not concerned if the youngest horse in the field encounters a rain-affected track.

With two wins from his first two starts in Hong Kong, the first also at 2000 metres, Yip knows Sunday’s task against the more seasoned opposition is formidable but he is excited with the prospect of what Massive Sovereign can produce.

“My horse is just at the start and l’m excited with this race,” Yip said. “I think he will show you something. I think soft ground will be no problem for him.”

The relaxed nature of the four-year-old, who won two races for Ireland’s master trainer Aidan O’Brien at 1400m and 1465m before being exported to Hong Kong, has been a bonus for Yip.

“He arrived in Hong Kong last year in November,” Yip said. “Two or three days after he joined my stable, I felt he was a really gentle horse. He was not using his energy. He is very quiet and a gentle horse.”

Yip said when Massive Sovereign’s owner Chan Kam Hung bought the horse the instructions were to race in the Derby.

“So, my target is for the long distances,” he said. “One of the races overseas was over 1400m and a mile he ran second in but he never ran over 2000 metres. The first start 2000 metres in Hong Kong it’s quite difficult, so I made different training for the horse to make him more fit.

“But, the timing was too short for him. I asked Zac (Purton) and he helped me a lot.”

Yip said Massive Sovereign’s relaxed nature showed out when he would produce when only asked.

“I remember when he first joined my stable, Zac (Purton) called me immediately,” he said.

“He sent me a video of him winning overseas and said ‘this horse, I’d love to ride him because I think he’s got ability and he will show something in Hong Kong.’

“I feel he keeps improving. Last Friday, he trialled at Happy Valley. He really enjoyed the trial and finished very strong. After the trial he finished all the feed and keep him I think now is the right time for his performance to be very good.”

Yip said Romantic Warrior was obviously the horse to beat.

Purton rates the FWD QEII Cup as the strongest of the three features with horses from Japan, local hero Romantic Warrior and the return of Dubai Honour.

“Obviously a massive job when he comes out of a Derby, so it’s a good test for him to see where he is at and that’s the exciting part about this stage of the season,” Purton said of Massive Sovereign.

“Coming through the Derby he has gone against racing against four-year-olds here in Hong Kong to going against some of the world’s best.

Purton agreed that there was an element of not knowing how good Massive Sovereign could be.

Purton said he thought Massive Sovereign’s recent trial was better than the one leading into his first Hong Kong start.

“He has certainly come on,’’ Purton said.

– News from Hong Kong Jockey Club

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