Gold-Fun tipped to run ‘fantastic race’ in Chairman’s Sprint Prize

Trainer Richard Gibson admits there is an element of experimentation in bringing Gold-Fun back in distance as the stable mounts a Pan Sutong-powered assault on Sunday’s two Group Ones.

Sutong supplies three of Gibson’s four runners in the big races as last season’s miler of the year Gold-Fun contests the Chairman’s Sprint Prize, while Giant Treasure and Obliterator carry the billionaire’s gold and red silks in the Hong Kong Classic Cup.

Gold-Fun is a two-time Group One winner, but has never raced over a distance of less than 1,400m either here or abroad.

But Gibson said that was more due to race programming than any reluctance on his part to try sprint journeys.

“There has just never been the opportunity to run that trip,” he said. “It will be a very interesting experiment, but he is the highest-rated horse in the race and one thing about him; he is so consistent and talented that I’m always confident he will run a fantastic race.”

Gibson’s other sprint runner, the consistent Dundonnell, also comes back below 1,400m for the first time, but with blinkers equipped, the trainer is confident of a forward showing.

“He has had a fantastic season,” Gibson said. “I’ve been encouraged by the way he has trialled over 1,000m and with the blinkers I think he can improve enough to be competitive at this level. He might play a part on Sunday.”

With regular rider Douglas Whyte booked to ride likely race favourite Peniaphobia, Gold-Fun’s Sutong has splashed the cash to fly Christophe Soumillon in to take the ride, and the star Belgian will also partner Obliterator in the Classic Cup.

Gibson, who confirmed dual-entered Got Fly would contest the 2,000m Class Two on the same day, was bullish about the chances of the two Sutong-owned runners.

“I thought Giant Treasure’s third in the Classic Mile was creditable,” Gibson said. “But I don’t think Giant Treasure ran up to his best rating in that race, and I think there is enough left in the tank for him to improve in this event. He will be suited by the step up to 1,800m as well.”

Gibson was quite open about his fitness concerns regarding Obliterator heading into his local debut over 1,400m two weekends ago and came away pleased with a run-on fifth.

“That was far too short for him and we were delighted with that effort,” he said. “Obviously, with the Derby looming we had to proceed with the classic programme and he will be much better over this distance.”

Gibson said the decision to run Got Fly in the Class Two followed a consultation with the horse’s owner and jockey Whyte.



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