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Three for Asia Express
Asia Express (Henny Hughes) chalked up his third individual stakes winner courtesy of Puro Magic’s (3 f ex Medjerda by Deep Impact) victory in the The AOI Stakes (Gr 3, 1200m) at Kyoto on Saturday. Trained by Shogo Yasuda, the filly scored a length and a quarter win over Pair Pollux (Kinshasa No Kiseki) with Nanao (Lord Kanaloa) finishing a further nose further back in third. Puro Magic was bought by Three H Racing for ¥29,700,000 at the 2022 Hokkaido July Yearling Selection Sale. Out of the stakes-placed winner Medjerda (Deep Impact), Puro Magic is a sister to four-time winner Medieval, while she is a half-sister to three-time scorer Bagradas (Majestic Warrior). 


HK: Purton aiming for third Standard Chartered Champions & Chater Cup triumph

Acutely aware of the difficult task confronting Massive Sovereign (No Nay Never) as he prepares for the Standard Chartered Champions & Chater Cup (Gr 1, 2400m) at Sha Tin on Sunday, Zac Purton hopes the BMW Hong Kong Derby (Listed, 2000m) winner can defy ratings and high-class international raider Rebel’s Romance (Dubawi). Rated the second-highest horse in the world this year, Rebel’s Romance will chase a fifth Group 1 having eclipsed a star-studded field containing ten individual Group 1 winners in the Dubai Sheema Classic (Gr 1, 2410m) at Meydan racecourse on March 30. Trained by Charlie Appleby, Rebel’s Romance is a clear benchmark according to Purton, who is chasing a third win in Hong Kong’s final Group 1 of the season after the Australian’s victories on Exultant (Teofilo) in 2019 and 2020. “The forecast is a worry, really, and he [Massive Sovereign] is a long way out of it on the handicap and the horse [Rebel’s Romance] that’s come to Hong Kong is a serious horse – if he runs four lengths off his best on ratings, he’s still got the field covered,” Purton said. “It’s a big challenge. We’re just hoping to get him onto a dry track and assess him a little bit more after his last start but the weather doesn’t look like it’s going to play ball, so we’ll have to deal with it.”

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