Golden Sixty returns triumphant
HONG KONG - Golden Sixty made a sparkling return at Sha Tin on Sunday, with the 22nd victory of his decorated 25-start career and a third straight success in the HK$5 million (S$878,000) Group 2 BOCHK Private Wealth Jockey Club Mile (1,600m).
But his win did not come easy.
Neck and neck over the concluding stages with the hot favourite California Spangle, jockey Vincent Ho asked Golden Sixty to lift and he responded accordingly.
The even-money second fancy, he overhauled his brave and youthful adversary by a neck in 1min 34.02sec.
Enhancing the merit of his win, Golden Sixty clocked 21.32sec for his final 400m, after California Spangle set a crawling tempo throughout under jockey Zac Purton.
“I knew Golden Sixty would have the heart to run him down, but he’s only 80 per cent fit, so the last bit is his mental toughness. Definitely all credit to him and the team – we’re looking forward to December now,” said Ho.
Trainer Tony Cruz was full of praise for California Spangle. Still only a four-year-old, his charge has registered two seconds behind the six-time Group 1-winning Golden Sixty.
“I believe this horse still can improve. He’s fit and sound, and we’ll fight another day,” said Cruz.
Enhancing his all-time earnings to a record HK$116,250,600, Golden Sixty will be set for a third successive victory in the HK$30 million Group 1 Longines Hong Kong Mile (1,600m) on Dec 11.
“Same like before, he has a very good fighting heart. When he came close to the front runner, he really wanted to pass him,” said Lui.
“Zac is a good jockey and he knows how to manage the pace. But I think Vincent also knows Golden Sixty very well, he knows how to ride this horse.”
Hong Kong’s two-time Horse of the Year’s (2020/21 and 2021/22) first-up win follows on from his two-length success in April’s Group 1 FWD Champions Mile (1,600m) – his second win in the race after prevailing in 2021.
“We are all happy to see him come back and win a race. Golden Sixty has brought us a lot of fun,” said Lui. - HKJC