The China Horse Club looks primed to defend its crown in the AUD1,000,000 Golden Gift next month after star colt Captivant delivered an explosive display to win racing away from rivals on debut at Royal Randwick (Australia).

The striking two-year-old remains immensely raw but has undoubted talent by the manner in which he moved through his gears over the concluding stages to put almost two lengths on rivals in the AUD125,000 ACY Securities Victory Vein Plate (1000m).

“[Captivant] is nowhere near the furnished product yet, he’s that raw he is still frozen,” co-trainer Paul Snowden told SKY Thoroughbred Central post-race.

“He’s got a lot more to come and honestly I’ve never been so confident in my life when after the gates opened and they went 100 yards I thought ‘This horse is home’ because he was just lobbing along in the back of the field doing absolutely nothing.

“As soon as Jason (Collett) gave him a squeeze he came up straight underneath him. It was a matter of getting to the right part of the track and getting the breaks and he was too good.”

The China Horse Club secured the lucrative Golden Gift 12 months ago with exceptional filly Dame Giselle who scored in the race at her second career start. In the ensuing 12 months the China Horse Club/Go Bloodstock Australia raced filly has built an enviable career with a further four G2 wins and prize money of more than AUD1.2 million.

The Club and its partners will be hoping for similar good fortune with this colt who was purchased in January 2020 at the Magic Millions Yearling Sale. Listed as Lot 797, Captivant is making quick inroads into his AUD550,000 purchase price. Aside from the Golden Gift, next year’s AUD2,000,000 Magic Millions 2YO Classic and, in time, the AUD3,500,000 Golden Slipper are obvious targets.

“Captivant is a promising horse going forward,” explained China Horse Club’s Michael Smith.

“He was a touch slow away and Jason [Collett] picked him up and got him into stride in a position three back the fence. Coming through the turn he pushed through a gap, got balanced up and at the 150m picked up well and dashed away to win by nearly two lengths.

“We will monitor how he has come through that win this week. If he doesn’t lighten off then we will look at a race like the $1,000,000 Golden Gift in 3 weeks’ time. Alternatively, if he indicates he’s ready for a break he can go for a spell now and we can point to the Magic Millions in January.”

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