Derby aspirants warm up for feature with strong hitouts

Giant Treasure was one of seven possible Group One BMW Hong Kong Derby runners to trial this week and was arguably the most impressive as he bolted up in a 1,600m grass trial on Friday.

Earlier in the week, another Derby hopeful Luger (Zac Purton) showed some good signs before he steps up to 2,000m for the first time, but jockey Douglas Whyte would be feeling more comfortable to jump off that horse and on to Giant Treasure after an eye-catching display.

After a standout win on debut on international day in a competitive Class Three handicap, Giant Treasure had excuses when beaten as favourite second up before third-placed finishes in both the Group One lead-ups to the Derby – the Hong Kong Classic Mile and Hong Kong Classic Cup.

Although it seems logical that Giant Treasure needs to find some improvement to win the Derby a week from now, an energetic display on Friday gave the impression of a horse about to run his best race.

In the same heat, fellow Derby aspirants Dynamism (Olivier Doleuze), Thunder Fantasy (Karis Teetan), Romantic Touch (Keith Yeung Ming-lun) and Got Fly (Derek Leung Ka-chun) all did what was asked, which wasn’t all that much nine days out from their grand final.

Giant Treasure’s time of 1.37.66s compared favourably with Luger’s time of 1.40.26s on Tuesday. Of course for Luger (Zac Purton) it was far important from a Derby perspective that he settle, and on that score he was able to drop his head behind a slow tempo. The John Size-trained four-year-old heads into the Derby as its highest-rated runner and looks as ready as he will ever be to run the trip.



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