By Steve Moran
Trainer Richard Gibson is optimistic that recent stable acquisition Gold Mount can take a positive step towards LONGINES Hong Kong International day in Sunday’s BOCHK 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 Sa Sa Ladies’ Purse Handicap (1800m) on 4th November, holds nominations for both the LONGINES Hong Kong Cup (2000m) and the 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 LONGINES 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 26.2s) 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.