Golden Sixty (HKJC)
By Declan Schuster
Already deemed an immortal of Hong Kong racing, Golden Sixty will chase further lustre to his incredible record this Sunday (11 December) when he takes aim at joining Good Ba Ba with a third successive HK$30 million G1 LONGINES Hong Kong Mile (1600m) triumph.
Good Ba Ba won the race in 2007, 2008 and 2009, while Golden Sixty has won the past two editions (2020 & 2021); this weekend the brilliant son of Medaglia d’Oro – who holds Hong Kong’s all-time earnings record (HK$116,250,600) – faces a talented group of gallopers from Hong Kong, Japan and Australia all looking to defy his bid at Sha Tin.
Stepping out this morning (Tuesday, 6 December) for his final turf gallop in front of an adoring wall of media, Golden Sixty pleased connections as he strode powerfully down the Sha Tin straight under jockey Vincent Ho, clocking 1m 20.2s (29.7, 27.7, 22.8) for his overall effort.
“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,” Ho said.
Golden Sixty defied a resolute California Spangle in last month’s G2 BOCHK Private Wealth Jockey Club Mile (1600m), edging past his younger adversary – who set a crawling tempo throughout the race – to score by a neck.
Trainer Francis Lui echoed Ho’s words this morning and is equally looking forward to Sunday.
“He’s good, for him it’s just an easy gallop. Everything is well, happy and healthy,” Lui 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 & 2021/22) has won his last three starts, including two runs back when he nailed successive G1 FWD Champions Mile (1600m) titles.
The likes of California Spangle, Schnell Meister, Salios, Waikuku and Laws Of Indices face Golden Sixty this weekend.
“I think California Spangle and the Japanese horses will be the biggest challenges. Racing is racing, anything can happen,” Lui said. “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 and in 2020 he became only the second horse in Hong Kong racing history to sweep the Four-Year-Old Classic Series.
“We just do the same with him, outside he’s ok but don’t go inside his box – he’ll bite, kick or show any action towards you,” Lui said. “If Vincent (Ho) has time he always goes to the stables with Golden Sixty and sometimes afterwards he will lead the horse for walks. They have a very good friendship, I think the horse knows, of course, he isn’t a human but he knows.”
Golden Sixty’s 22 Hong Kong wins are a record in the city (since the professional era commenced in the 1971/72 racing season), putting the champion at the top of an illustrious list with Beauty Generation, Silent Witness and Super Win all sharing second spot with 18 wins apiece.
This weekend’s HK$110 million LONGINES Hong Kong International Races features four Group 1 races: HK$34 million G1 LONGINES Hong Kong Cup (2000m), HK$30 million G1 LONGINES Hong Kong Mile (1600m), HK$24 million G1 LONGINES Hong Kong Sprint (1200m) and HK$22 million G1 LONGINES Hong Kong Vase (2400m).