Ricky Yiu hopes to continue excellent season with Nimble Nimbus
by Leo Schlink
Ricky Yiu is optimistic Nimble Nimbus can maintain the stable’s wonderful momentum with another strong performance when the consistent galloper tackles the Class 2 Wyndham Handicap (1650m) at Happy Valley on Wednesday night (12 April).
Trailing John Size (51 wins) by six in the 2022/23 Hong Kong trainers’ championship, Yiu will team up with Alexis Badel in a reprise of the pair’s triumphant BMW Hong Kong Derby partnership with Voyage Bubble.
With a trio of Class 3 victories this season, Nimble Nimbus has risen from 67 in the handicaps to 85 as he pushes for his sixth career win at his 20th start.
“He’s a horse that keeps improving, he’s done well this season. His form has been solid. I reckon with a good draw (barrier two), he will perform really well again,” Yiu, the 2019/20 Hong Kong champion trainer, said.
“Up in Class 2, you need a good draw and the light weight (122lb) to help you but the horse keeps on improving, he’s very honest and I hope he can do the job again. He loves to race a little bit fresh and he’s not a difficult horse to ride.”
With seven starters across nine races at the city circuit on Wednesday night, Yiu is also excited by the prospect of pitting Voyage Bubble against more seasoned rivals in the HK$20 million G1 FWD Champions Mile (1600m) at Sha Tin on 30 April.
“He’s (Voyage Bubble) as good as gold. He’s a tough horse. I reckon he’s a horse with a lot of talent, he’s on his way up. Eventually, he’ll meet the big boys, so I choose to run him against them at the end of the month.”
In peak form after four winners, three seconds and a third from eight rides at Sha Tin last Sunday (9 April), Hugh Bowman is confident E Universe can continue the streak in the second section of Class 4 Glenealy Handicap (1200m) at Happy Valley tomorrow night.
“He’s a real racehorse. With a good draw (barrier two) and back to familiar ground at Happy Valley, he should get the run of the race. He’s got natural pace and I think he will certainly make his presence felt.”
Trainer Manfred Man has removed the blinkers as the last-start runner-up presses for a breakthrough win.
“He’s a very competitive horse, so he knows what his job is. He’s only small and I just felt he was wasting energy with the blinkers on. He was up on the bridle and he was doing too much,” Bowman said.
“I thought he showed a lot of courage in continuing to hit the line in the way he did after over-doing it a bit in the middle stages. So, if he does relax a little bit better – which I expect he will – he will show a better turn of foot. He’s at the right level. He’s ready to win and hopefully he can.”
Angus Chung hopes Atomic Energy can make it two wins a row when he contests the Class 4 Graham Handicap (1000m) for Tony Cruz.
“Last time, it was a very good finish. He’s got the ability to have a good sprint and he’s a tough horse as well. I’ll try to get him as close to the pace as I can, hopefully in the first four.
“He’s just a natural racehorse. He knows what to do. He’s definitely improved a lot and I’m looking forward to it.”
Wednesday evening’s (12 April) card kicks off with the Class 3 Cochrane Handicap (2200m) at 6.45pm.