Top milers to clash in Jockey Club Mile at Sha Tin

Giant Treasure
Giant Treasure is on track for the Group 2 Jockey Club Mile on Sunday at Sha Tin

THERE’S no denying the talents of Giant Treasure, but the Group one winner still has plenty to prove in Hong Kong this season.

The Richard Gibson-trained runner won the Group 1 Stewards’ Cup at Sha Tin, but Gibson believes his runner hasn’t shown its best ability on the track.

“He’s complex but exceptionally talented,” Gibson said.

“He’s a test to train because he’s got a lot of exciting talent but he doesn’t always tick all the boxes on race day and everything has got to go really smoothly for him to perform at his best. But he’s certainly got the talent.”

It will line up in Sunday’s Group 2 BOCHK Wealth Management Jockey Club Mile as its main lead-up to the Group 1 Hong Kong Mile on December 11 and top jockey Christophe Soumillon will take the ride on Sunday.

“Soumillon gets on very well with this horse, so it’s probably pretty sensible that the owner has brought him over for Sunday,” Gibson said. “He does seem to get the best out of the horse.”

Giant Treasure has had one run this preparation for a 10th in the Group 2 Premier Bowl Handicap, but Gibson wasn’t disappointed with the effort.

“I’m pleased with how the horse has come out of his last race,” Gibson said. “We’re doing another change in headgear and now we’re back in the mile division where we’re very familiar with the rest of the field.

“He’s right up there as one of the top milers in Hong Kong. Few horses in that field could get within half a length of Maurice like he did.”

Punters are getting great odds for Giant Treasure in the Hong Kong Mile. It’s currently paying $21 with which will likely shorten after Sunday’s race.

Also entered in Sunday’s Jockey Club Mile is $12 Hong Kong Mile chance, Beauty Only. The Tony Cruz-trained runner was a winner of the 2015 Hong Kong Classic Mile and after a strong finish last start, it appears to be back at its best.

“He should have won last time but that turned into a messy race, there wasn’t enough pace on for him,” Cruz said.

“He needs that good pace to bring out his best. Once the pace is on I’m sure that, even if he’s at the back, he has the pace to catch them. He has a big last quarter.”

Zac Purton will likely take the ride on Sunday and Cruz is confident Beauty Only is in better condition than it was last year.

“The horse is almost at his peak condition now, so I’m very happy with him going into Sunday’s race,” Cruz said. “He’s done everything I wanted him to do.

“I’d say he’s in better form this time around than he was going into this meeting last year. His condition is good and he’s much fitter than at the same stage last year.

“He’s been carrying some big weights in handicaps and on Sunday he doesn’t have to do that, he doesn’t have to carry a penalty, and I expect him to show his best.”

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