Trainer Richard Gibson is optimistic that recent stable acquisition Gold Mount can take a positive step towards Hong Kong International day in Sunday’s G2 Jockey Club Cup (2000m) at Sha Tin.
Gold Mount, who had his first run for Gibson when three and three-quarter lengths fifth to Time Warp in the G3 Sa Sa Ladies’ Purse Handicap (1800m) on 4 November, holds nominations for both the G1 Hong Kong Cup (2000m) and the G1 LONGINES Hong Kong Vase (2400m), with the trainer naming the latter as the most likely target.
“I was very satisfied with his first run for me. He closed off well in a race dominated from the front. He’s come on from that (run) and I think you’ll see some further improvement from him on Sunday,” Gibson said.=
“He’s on track to head to the Vase which is the race I prefer for him. He is a winner at the mile and a half (2400m) at Royal Ascot and while he’s not won at the trip here, he has run well and he has grown and strengthened this time in.”
Gold Mount, then trained by Tony Cruz, indeed ran well in last year’s Hong Kong Vase – beaten three and a half lengths into fifth place behind Highland Reel.
It was a strong edition of the Vase with Breeders’ Cup Turf winner Talismanic finishing second; it was won in fast time (2m 26.23s) and Gold Mount made ground from last mid-race despite striking interference at the 400m, which resulted in a suspension for a rival jockey (Jim Crowley).
Gibson won the Vase in 2007 and 2008 with popular French galloper Doctor Dino, while Akeed Mofeed won the LONGINES Hong Kong Cup for the trainer from his current Sha Tin base.
The handler is enjoying a successful run this month which has seen him reach the 200 winners milestone in Hong Kong.
The Jockey Club Cup is one of three G2 features on Sunday, each worth HK$4.25 million. The Jockey Club Mile (1600m) features the world’s top-rated turf miler, Beauty Generation, while the Jockey Club Sprint (1200m) brings together a field of top-class sprinters that includes Ivictory, Mr Stunning, D B Pin, Hot King Prawn, Beat The Clock and Premiere.