Richard Gibson is not expecting to win the BMW Hong Kong Derby (2000m) for a second time at Sha Tin this Sunday (17 March) but is confident that Gold Chest will represent him with credit and make up into a high-class performer next season.
Gibson is one of just four trainers in Sunday’s HK$18 million contest to have won the race before – the others are John Size, John Moore and Tony Cruz – having landed the 2013 renewal with Akeed Mofeed in just his second season in Hong Kong.
Gold Chest will carry the same familiar Pan Sutong colours as Akeed Mofeed did when sent off as 1.8 favourite under Douglas Whyte six years ago and has the services of globetrotting rider Oisin Murphy, who partnered nine Group 1 winners during a breakthrough 2018 campaign.
However, expectations are nothing like so high this time with Gibson admitting to concerns that his latest Derby hope “is very lightly-raced and hasn’t got enough racing experience under his belt.”
Formerly known as Naval Intelligence when trained in England by Jane Chapple-Hyam, Gold Chest won both his first two starts at Newmarket last year and earned rave reviews from his then-handler by forging clear of smart rivals in the Listed Sir Henry Cecil Stakes over 1600m in July.