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Straightforward final trial for Royal Ascot-bound Gold-Fun


Gold-Fun warmed up for his upcoming assignment in the G1 Diamond Jubilee Stakes at Royal Ascot with a 1000-metre turf barrier trial down the Sha Tin straight this morning, Tuesday 7 June.

The seven-year-old, sporting pacifiers for the workout, galloped close to the lead under his trial partner Chad Schofield and travelled well enough in finishing third of 11 behind I’m In Charge, clocking a time of 58.0s. Christophe Soumillon will take the reins in Berkshire a week Saturday (18 June).

“We were happy with that,” said trainer Richard Gibson. “We just wanted a nice easy trial before travelling on Friday and Chad was very pleased with his action - he gave him a bit of a blow and it’s all systems go for next week.

“We put the pacifiers on to prevent any risk of an eye injury with any kickback, and he always trials a lot better when he wears his racing gear.”

Gold-Fun will depart his Sha Tin stable on Friday evening for an early-hours (Saturday 11 June) flight to the UK, and is expected to be in situ at the famous Abington Place Stables, Newmarket sometime that afternoon. Gibson is looking forward to setting his charge at the famous sprint on the final day of this year’s Royal Meeting.

“We considered running the horse last year but he had this chip in the ankle, which we took out,” said Gibson of Hong Kong’s former Champion Miler. “We always thought the 1200 metres at Ascot would suit him better than the 1200 in Hong Kong. The 1200 here is a bit quick for him so we’d hope that the straight at Ascot, going up the hill, would be a test of his true ability.

“I don’t have any worries about him handling the track there. He raced pretty well in Ireland as a young horse, so if we get him there in good shape he’s definitely one of the contenders. He’s a very straightforward, mature gelding - he’s an old pro.”

Despite some fine efforts in Dubai this spring, Hong Kong horses have so far failed to notch a big one overseas this term, Contentment’s last place finish in Japan’s G1 Yasuda Kinen being the latest reversal.  Gibson is hopeful that a relatively light campaign for Gold-Fun this season will have ensured that the G1 LONGINES Hong Kong Sprint (1200m) runner-up still has plenty left in the tank to perhaps end things on a high-note.

“We’ve kept this horse very fresh and he runs very well fresh,” said the Englishman. “This will be his seventh run this season, so he’s started a few less races than Contentment and we’re in the sprint division, so I’ve got less concerns about that.”

Gold-Fun (front, in yellow) finishes third in a 1000m turf barrier trial at Sha Tin this morning with Chad Schofield on board.
Photo 1:
Gold-Fun (front, in yellow) finishes third in a 1000m turf barrier trial at Sha Tin this morning with Chad Schofield on board.


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