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Gibson has no grounds for concern just yet


Royal Ascot will kick-off on soft ground today (Tuesday 14 June) after heavy showers continued to hit southern England but the inclement hit-and-run downpours are not yet causing trepidation in the Gold-Fun camp.

Hong Kong’s representative will go to post on Saturday, the fifth and final day of British racing’s annual royal showcase, in the G1 Diamond Jubilee Stakes (1200m) and trainer Richard Gibson is sanguine. 

“No trainer likes extreme going but things can change quickly by Saturday,” said the handler. “The reason we’re here is because we think he will be well-suited to this track profile – and some ease in the ground, I think that will suit him.”

Gold-Fun has raced exclusively on going rated good or good to firm in his 28 Hong Kong starts but anyone searching for clues as to the gelding’s suitability for an easier surface can look back to a mile maiden win at Naas, Ireland in April 2012, achieved on good to yielding ground.

Ascot’s wide straight course will be a new test for Gold-Fun, who is accustomed to racing at 1200m around Sha Tin’s right-hand turn. Those races are generally about starting quickly, finding a berth, filling the lungs around the bend and then forging home.  

“My only concern about the straight track is that I wouldn’t want to get the horse isolated,” said Gibson. “You never know where the speed’s going to be, or if the field splits, going left or right – then it becomes a bit of a lottery.”

As to the chestnut’s well-being since arriving in Newmarket on Saturday, Gibson is pleased with what he is seeing.

“So far, so good,” he said. “The horse is very relaxed and is enjoying the new environment. He went out again this morning and stretched his legs on the uphill track.”

Following a warm-up in the horse walker and covered trotting ring at Abington Place stables, Gold-Fun followed a lead horse up the Bury Hill Ecotrack going no more than a steady canter.

Gold-Fun exercising on the uphill track today.
Photo 1:
Gold-Fun exercising on the uphill track today.

Gold-Fun (right) takes things easy on the walk back to stables.
Photo 2:
Gold-Fun (right) takes things easy on the walk back to stables.


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Diamond Jubilee Stakes Day


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