Golden Sixty set to emulate Good Ba Ba’s three HK Mile feat
HONG KONG Already deemed an immortal of Hong Kong racing, Golden Sixty will chase further glory on Sunday, when he bids to join Good Ba Ba for a third successive victory in the HK$30 million (S$5.22 million) Group 1 Longines Hong Kong Mile.
Good Ba Ba won the 1,600m race in 2007, 2008 and 2009, while Golden Sixty took the past two editions (2020 and 2021).
The brilliant galloper, who holds Hong Kong’s all-time earnings record (HK$116,250,600), faces a talented local field, Japan and Australia at Sha Tin racecourse on Sunday.
In his final turf gallop on Tuesday, Golden Sixty pleased his connections as he strode powerfully down the Sha Tin straight under regular jockey Vincent Ho.
He clocked 1min 20.2sec, with sectionals of 29.7sec, 27.7sec and 22.8sec.
“He felt good, it was a nice gallop. I think he’s better than last time, I walked him around after and we’ve done enough. I can’t wait for Sunday,” said Ho.
Golden Sixty defied a resolute California Spangle in November’s Group 2 BOCHK Private Wealth Jockey Club Mile (1,600m).
He edged past his younger adversary, who set a crawling tempo, to score by a neck.
Trainer Francis Lui echoed Ho’s words and is equally looking forward to Sunday.
“He’s good. For him, it’s just an easy gallop. Everything is well, happy and healthy,” he said.
“In his races, he seems to still have his fighting heart – that’s the main point.”
Hong Kong’s two-time Horse of the Year (2020/21 and 2021/22) has won his last three starts, including his successive Group 1 FWD Champions Mile (1,600m) two runs back.
He will face the likes of California Spangle, Schnell Meister, Salios, Waikuku and Laws Of Indices on Sunday.
“I think California Spangle and the Japanese horses will be the biggest challengers. Racing is racing, anything can happen,” said Lui.
“Where he settles will depend on the draw. If he gets a better draw, then he can sit in a good position.”
Golden Sixty boasts six Group 1s across his career.
In 2020, he became only the second horse in Hong Kong racing history to sweep the Four-Year-Old Classic Series.
Golden Sixty’s 22 Hong Kong wins are a record in the city (since the professional era commenced in the 1971/72 racing season).
It puts the champion at the top of an illustrious list.
Beauty Generation, Silent Witness and Super Win share second spot with 18 wins apiece.
Sunday’s HK$110 million Longines Hong Kong International Races also feature three other Group 1 races.
They are the HK$34 million Hong Kong Cup (2,000m), HK$24 million Hong Kong Sprint (1,200m) and HK$22 million Hong Kong Vase (2,400m). - HKJC