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Gold Mount is to be aimed at the Melbourne Cup after making a winning return to English racing at York

Gold Mount is to be aimed at the Melbourne Cup after making a winning return to English racing at York.

A winner at Royal Ascot as Primitivo in 2016, Gold Mount was renamed when he was sent to Hong Kong.

Having competed with credit at the highest level in Hong Kong for trainer Tony Cruz, he lost his way for Richard Gibson who advised sending him to his friend Ian Williams after a fourth-placed finish in the Dubai Gold Cup won by Cross Counter.

Dropped out to the rear by Andrea Atzeni in the 2800m-race on Saturday, Gold Mount (16-1) moved up at the 600m and took the lead 200m out.

He drew away to beat the William Haggis-trained Raheen House by 2-1/4 lengths.

The win guarantees him a spot in the Ebor but Williams is lukewarm about the famous handicap in August.

“He came from my very good friend Richard Gibson and after he ran so well in Hong Kong, they (owners) decided they’d like to aim at the Melbourne Cup,” Williams said.

“This was the start of his journey there and he couldn’t have done any more. He’s beat a fairly decent field very well and I’m delighted with his performance.

“He’s enjoyed that ground so we’ll have to be careful where we send him from here on in, but he’s tough – not big, but hardy.

“He’s performed well at Group One level over 10 furlongs (2000m) in Hong Kong so as a stayer we don’t know what he can do.

“In terms of the Ebor I think the handicapper will give him plenty of weight. He’s a small horse, a big weight in a top handicap might be tough for him.

“He’s been sent to me to be prepared for the 2019 Melbourne Cup, so we’ll work back from there.”

Williams had his first experience of the Melbourne Cup last year when the Marwan Koukash-owned Magic Circle was unplaced.

Magic Circle is a 16-1 chance for Thursday’s Ascot Gold Cup ahead of a possible return to Melbourne.

 
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