Akeed Mofeed is one of three Derby contenders for Richard GibsonPICTURE: Caroline Norris (racingpost.com/photos)
Mizani gives Richard Gibson Derby headache
Report: Hong Kong, Saturday
THERE were plenty of BMW Hong Kong Derby insights at Sha Tin with wins for Mizani and Sunny Ying as well as some eyecatching efforts in defeat from some of their fellow Derby entrants.
Mizani's trainer Richard Gibson now has three solid candidates for glory going forward, with last month's Hong Kong Classic Mile winner Gold Fun and high-profile acquisition Akeed Mofeed also engaged in the Derby on March 17.
"He's a horse who's doing this through natural ability and I think he'll be better on a softer track, I don't think he likes the fast tracks, so we'll talk to the owner," he said after the 86-rated Mizani had seen off top-weight Let Me Handle It to claim victory by a neck.
Richard Gibson: trains MizaniPICTURE: HKJC
"Olivier Doleuze has always really rated this horse. I thought he rode him in a very smooth, professional, confident manner today. He has a lot of faith in this horse and we've got some options - with good horses like this you can consider absolutely everything. We learn more about the horse after every run, and today was an excellent performance."
In behind, Poetic Justice showed promise first up, the John Moore contender running on strongly to claim fifth, but the visual standout appeared to be the sixth home, Blazing Speed.
"Blazing Speed was unlucky and his run was enormous, so hopefully he'll get his chance in the Hong Kong Classic Cup because he deserves it on that run," said trainer Caspar Fownes.
"It was a strong Class 2 race and Vincent thought he would have won, but there was no room. He has run exactly as I hoped he would and he should have been in the first three. He's thrived in this environment, which is a big plus when they come in from Europe."
Moore meanwhile was delighted with Poetic Justice considering the horse looked to be "carrying plenty of condition" in the paddock.
"I think on the run today and the condition he was carrying, that's probably as good a run as Akeed Mofeed - where he came from and how he closed. He'll go to the Classic Cup next."
Moore was on the mark in the following race, the Siu Lek Yuen handicap, with the resolute Sunny Ying, who stayed on to grasp victory close home under Weichong Marwing, with another Derby entry, Turbo Jewellery, in third.
"That was a gem of a ride, one of the best I've seen all season on one of my horses" said Moore. "It was a dour staying effort and the further he goes the better. Now we go on to the Classic Cup next - he's only going to be rated 81 or 82 but that's what we bought him for."