Victory Gold can make a big impact next campaign
Zac Purton has developed a good knack for getting on some promising young horses, and partnered the Andreas Schutz-trained Victory Gold in his first barrier trial appearance at Sha Tin yesterday.
Victory Gold strolled along behind Castle Hero to finish a tidy fifth and stopped the clock in his own time of 47.72 seconds. The Al Maher three-year-old was safely held by more than five lengths by Michael Chang Chun-wai's heat winner, but it was the manner in which Victory Gold cruised to the post that had astute trial watchers circling his name for next season.
Purton helped give the youngster an educational sit behind runners in the 800m dash and, going on his breeding, the horse will no doubt be looking for further as a stronger individual.
The Australian jockey, who is fast closing in on 50 wins, has also built a good relationship with the Ricky Yiu Poon-fai-trained Toast For Trophy, who was heavily supported on debut before disappointing as favourite and finishing fourth at his only run.
Yiu is no doubt lining up a late-season target and has given the O'Reilly gelding two hit-outs at the trials since.
Toast For Trophy also finished fifth behind Amazing Award, who clocked 58.60 seconds for the 1,000m tune-up, with the long-striding Costa Del Sol also making an impression in finishing third.
Dennis Yip Chor-hong has a serious galloper on his hands, and don't be surprised to see the General Nediym gelding in the spotlight in the lead-up to next year's Hong Kong Derby.