Golden Sixty, Voyage Bubble dazzle at Sha Tin, Latest Racing News - The New Paper

Golden Sixty, Voyage Bubble dazzle at Sha Tin

HONG KONG Golden Sixty could be bound for the international stage after his stellar performance in a blockbuster HK$12 million (S$2 million) Group 1 Stewards’ Cup over 1,600m at Sha Tin on Sunday.

In the day’s other HK$12 million extravaganza, Australian jockey Jamie Kah savoured sweet success aboard Voyage Bubble in the Hong Kong Classic Mile over the same distance for trainer Ricky Yiu.

As Hong Kong’s benchmark performer over the past three seasons, Golden Sixty unleashed his trademark burst to eclipse two younger pretenders to his throne – 2022 Group 1 Hong Kong Cup winner Romantic Warrior and 2022 Group 1 Hong Kong Mile victor California Spangle.

The two-time Horse of the Year has extended his record for the most Hong Kong wins to 23 (from 27 starts). He also boosted his prize money to an unmatched HK$129,690,600.

Golden Sixty was beaten in the 2022 Stewards’ Cup by Waikuku when attempting to equal Silent Witness’ streak of 17 consecutive wins. Waikuku finished fourth on Sunday.

Sitting behind California Spangle and Romantic Warrior, jockey Vincent Ho angled Golden Sixty into clear running in the final 200m and accelerated to score by a length in 1min 33.99sec.

Ho was elated at securing Golden Sixty’s seventh Group 1 and second Stewards’ Cup triumph after a contest which lived up to pre-race hype.

“I’m just very happy for Golden Sixty. The team did great work after the last race and to come back to his optimum fitness was great,” Ho said, referring to the gelding’s runner-up performance behind California Spangle in Hong Kong Mile on Dec 11.

“I still believe that he is one of the best horses at a mile – you still have to respect our opponents – but I have to trust my horse.”

Golden Sixty may target international options or the Group 1 Citi Hong Kong Gold Cup (2,000m) at Sha Tin on Feb 26.

“I still would like to go (overseas) but we will see how he pulls up,” said trainer Francis Lui.

Golden Sixty has been entered for the Group 1 Dubai Turf (1,800m) at Meydan Racecourse on March 25. Consideration is also given to the Group 1 Yasuda Kinen (1,600m) at Tokyo Racecourse on June 4.

Raced beautifully in the lead by Kah in Sunday’s Hong Kong Classic Mile, Voyage Bubble beat Tuchel by 1¼ lengths in 1min 34.58sec.

Packing Treadmill was third in this first leg of Hong Kong’s three-race Four-Year-Old Classic Series.

It was Voyage Bubble’s fourth hurrah and it brought his earnings to HK$10.61 million.

“I’m pretty speechless, it’s been a very special day. I’ve had such a great experience here with some beautiful horses I have ridden,” said Kah.

Trainer Yiu will set Voyage Bubble for the HK$12 million Hong Kong Classic Cup (1,800m) – the second leg of the series – on Feb 26.

Kah is engaged to ride once more.

The third and final leg is the BMW Hong Kong Derby (2,000m) on March 19. - HKJC