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Sovereign shines in brutal Derby

Massive Sovereign made the improvement many expected from his debut victory to take the 2024 HK Derby under a super ride from Zac Purton, giving trainer Dennis Yip the biggest win of his career.
Since the HK Derby switched to 2000m in 2000, more than half of the winners had drawn gate 9 or wider and gates 10 and 14 provided the quinella in 2024 as Massive Sovereign and Galaxy Patch swooped late on a brave pacesetter Ka Ying Generation, who had really made the race.
The pace in the Derby was a huge pre-race question mark but jockey Andrea Atzeni swept that aside as his bold tactics on Ka Ying Generation turned it into the fastest Derby ever and almost stole the result.
In contrast to the pedestrian tempo of Voyage Bubble's win 12 months before that led to a very low rating, this year's strong speed returned a much better number, with Massive Sovereign building on his debut 90 rating to produce a figure more in keeping with the long term profile of the classic event and a 94 rating that will see him competitive when he steps into the open G1 company that lies ahead.
Second year trainer Pierre Ng produced a brilliant effort with the second and third placegetters, but Galaxy Patch, coming off a preparation of only sprint races to still be the strongest finisher was a tremendous performance.

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