No Giant killer yet but Gibson’s grey looks one to Treasure

Trainer Richard Gibson admits he erred and gave Giant Treasure “one run too many” in the lead-up to this year’s Hong Kong Derby but he expects big things from his grey next term after a powerful display over a mile yesterday at Sha Tin.

Giant Treasure was a flat fifth behind Luger in the Hong Kong Derby earlier this month as 4.9 third favourite, but freshened, with a lighter workload and back to a mile, he bounced back with a narrow but impressive victory.

“I made a mistake in his Derby preparation,” Gibson said. “We knew how good he was, but the Derby result was tough for me because I thought he was the best horse in the race, but 2,000m is obviously not his best distance.”

After bursting on to the local scene with a first-up victory over 1,400m on international day, Giant Treasure was third in the three consecutive races, including the first two legs of the four-year-old series.

“I made a mistake, I ran the horse too much and he runs very well fresh,” he said. “He had one race too many before the Derby.”

Winning jockey Douglas Whyte said Giant Treasure “felt great, and he felt just like he did before his first-up win”.

“He was full of health and energy and it showed in that we had a horse attacking the line,” Whyte said.

Giant Treasure, a 2.6 equal favourite, raced wide from gate 11 but got a nice pull into the straight and fought off fellow four-year-old and Derby runner Beauty Only, with Kabayan edging out unlucky equal favourite Eroico for third.

Gibson said Giant Treasure was open to further improvement and thanked owner Pan Sutong for showing patience in not pushing towards bigger targets too soon.

“We have a lot to look forward to next season, he is still a young horse and I think he will improve a lot,” Gibson said.

“This horse will be running in the top mile races next season and I am really pleased to have him right where I thought he was in the beginning.”

Whyte said a full off-season would do wonders for Giant Treasure: “I think he will really blossom next season, the time off will do him the world of good.”



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