GOLDEN SIXTY RACES INTO RACING HISTORY
Hong Kong’s equine superstar Golden Sixty yesterday screamed “take me on world” as he retained his Longines Hong Kong Mile title with aplomb and etched his name in the annals of local racing.
It was win No. 16 straight and 19 overall from 20 starts, surpassing hitherto joint-achievers Silent Witness and Beauty Generation’s landmark 18-win tally.
The world is now his oyster. The rich Dubai World Cup meeting in late March now beckons.
Despite being labelled as his toughest test from a “tricky” Gate 2 in the HK$26 million (S$4.5 million) Group 1 feature, the Francis Lui-trained six-year-old Australian-bred made his 10 rivals, including four from Asia’s powerhouse Japan and one from Ireland, look second rate.
Once his regular jockey Vincent Ho urged him up from behind and weaved a passage for an unimpeded run, it was game over when he hit the front 300m out.
The odds-on favourite (just $6 for a $5 bet in Singapore) won with his legs in the air, romping home by 13/4 lengths from fellow Hong Kong horse More Than This.
Japan’s Salios, the 14-1 third favourite who jumped from the inner-most barrier and took up the lead on settling down, held on for third, a head away.
Golden Sixty clocked a respectable 1min 33.86sec for the 1,600m trip at Sha Tin.
Interviewed on his way back to the winner’s enclosure by former Singapore Turf Club racecaller-cum-presenter Nicholas Child, Ho was full of praise for his equine benefactor who gave him the biggest push in his career.
“It’s all about him, and the whole team who really did a good job,” said Hong Kong’s top local rider. “I’m so grateful that he performed really well internationally.
“It means the world to me. Without him, I won’t be here. Without him, I won’t win the QE II Cup. He won me a lot of great opportunities and a lot of Group races.”
Ho was referring to his QEII Cup triumph in April on world-beating Japanese mare Loves Only You, who won the HK$30 million Longines Hong Kong Cup a race later with his Japanese partner Yuga Kawada astride (see other story).
Blessed by Golden Sixty’s exploits, he received the lucky call-up from the classy mare’s Japanese connections.
On whether he was worried with his inside gate for his horse, Ho said: “Draw 2 was a little bit tricky. He never really likes to be on the inside. But we all know he’s brave enough to go through horses as well, so have different plans.”
Yesterday’s win was Golden Sixty’s fifth Group 1 success. In between his Hong Kong Mile double, he also captured the FWD Champions Mile, the Citi Hong Kong Gold Cup and the Stewards’ Cup.
He also won three Group 2s and two Group 3s. He has amassed HK$95 million for his owner, Stanley Chan Ka Leung.
Japan’s Glory Vase, who won the Hong Kong Vase in 2019, repeated the success with Joao Moreira astride in the HK$20 million race.
The HK$24 million Hong Kong Sprint, which was marred by a four-horse fall at the home turn, was won by Hong Kong’s 22-1 outsider Sky Field with Blake Shinn astride.
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