The Tony Millard-trained Golden Harvest made a terrific impression in his two wins towards the end of last season and he looks the one to beat again in the Community Chest Cup (1,200m) at Happy Valley tonight.
The five-year-old looked to have his share of ability in three early runs last season but didn’t quite have his act together before a mid-season break due to a hind leg injury.
Millard took the opportunity to have Golden Harvest (Zac Purton) gelded while he was on that break and what a difference it made when he returned to racing in May.
The talent he had shown from the start was more focused and Purton gave him a great ride in an impressive Class Four victory over the Valley 1,200m. The gelding took a rise in class in his stride next time, overcoming an outside draw to win cleverly again.
Purton climbs back on board tonight and there seems little doubt that Golden Harvest has been set for this – his quiet trial was a nice effort earlier in the month at the Valley, when Purton seemed most intent on keeping the chestnut out of trouble and settled.
Golden Harvest’s closing speed has been a feature of his wins and tonight’s race sets up ideally for his type, with speedsters Hawthorne, Tomodachi and Bould Mover drawn out and speed closer to the inside from Swift Shadow (Tye Angland) and Sunshine Kid.
There should be good pressure on and that will allow Golden Harvest to be doing his best work at the finish, along with Disciples Twelve (Keith Yeung Ming-lun), who looks his main danger.
Disciples Twelve was unlucky to lose twice in this grade in April and May and is well up to scoring, even from the outside draw. The query with him is his scratching last Tuesday with a lameness issue, but trainer Paul O’Sullivan has been content to bring him to the races a week later after a couple of steady workouts.