Trainer Gibson has another gem in Vital Gold
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Richard Gibson is having plenty of fun with his new private purchases, especially Derby candidates Gold-Fun and Mizani, but Vital Gold is another to keep the momentum going after an eye-catching debut effort in the Class Three Amethyst Handicap (1,200m) at Sha Tin on Sunday.
The gelding hadn't raced since finishing 10th in a 22-runner event over 1,200m in England in October 2011, but showed plenty of promise in four other juvenile starts for a front-running success over 1,200m in a 16-runner race at Pontefract and three placings up to 1,400m at Yarmouth, Lingfield and Redcar under the tutelage of trainer William Haggas.
Vital Gold was gelded in mid-June soon after his arrival and then had a setback with a suspensory ligament injury in mid-August, but things started to look good following three solid trials at both courses for rider Tim Clark.
Vital Gold, off a mark of 70 and at odds of 18-1 from gate 13, settled at the rear, about 10 lengths off leader Winnam and still had eight lengths to make up upon straightening. He shifted four deep at the 250m before unleashing a nice turn of foot to finish 21/2 lengths away in fourth behind Secret Sham. He clocked a sensational 21.48 for the final 400m.
The four-year-old is a son of new stallion Vital Equine and Bishop Of Cashel mare Golden Nugget.
Vital Equine was a winner of his first three juvenile runs in Britain from 1,200m to 1,400m. Golden Nun won the Group Three Ballyogan Stakes at Cork among her five victories over 1,000m to 1,200m in Ireland. She also produced Confessional - a four-time short-course winner on both turf and the all-weather track.
Vital Gold is not going to be a world-beater but he should hold his own up to 1,400m.