Golden Sixty Returns Seeking FWD Champions Mile Quartet

April 25, 2024

Golden Sixty is shooting for more G1 glory on Sunday (Alex Evers/HKJC)

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By Declan Schuster – HKJC

Golden Sixty will attempt to land a record-extending fourth consecutive win in the HK$22 million G1 FWD Champions Mile (1600m) at Sha Tin on Sunday (28 April) after receiving gate seven at this morning’s (Thursday, 25 April) barrier draw. 

Hong Kong’s champion horse became the first to complete an FWD Champions Mile hat-trick in 2021, 2022 and 2023. He returns for the first time in 2024, which will be his second run this season after claiming the HK$32 million G1 LONGINES Hong Kong Mile (1600m) last December following a 224-day break (a record for the race).

The earner of an unmatched HK$165.85 million globally, Golden Sixty – the Pride of Hong Kong – pairs with trusted companion Vincent Ho for trainer Francis Lui as he makes his first start for 140 days. 

“The barrier draw isn’t a worry, only the weather will be. Now, he’s very professional and he looks after himself. I think his condition has come up just in time,” Lui said.

The 133-rating Golden Sixty is Hong Kong’s most prolific winner in history, prevailing in 26 out of 30 starts. He is the only horse to win 10 Group 1 races in the city and only three-time consecutive Hong Kong Horse of the Year (2020/21, 2021/22 & 2022/23).

The eight-year-old son of Medaglia d’Oro became the second horse to sweep the Four-Year-Old Classic Series in 2020 after Rapper Dragon (2017). He galloped on the turf at Sha Tin this morning (Thursday, 25 April) alongside stablemate Yellowfin under Ho, clocking 1m 20.00s (29.7, 28.6, 21.7).

“He’s shown us already what he can do. I’m happy and Vincent is happy. He’s brought a lot of fun for us, the whole team. There won’t be another one like him,” Lui said.

Golden Sixty is two-for-two across his career when jumping from gate seven over Sha Tin’s mile course. Persistent rain has lashed Hong Kong across this week, while further showers are forecast through Sunday. 

The Australian-bred Golden Sixty has raced once on yielding ground at Sha Tin, finishing third to Russian Emperor in the 2022 G1 Citi Hong Kong Gold Cup (2000m).

Golden Sixty will stretch his legs tomorrow at Sha Tin ahead of Sunday.

“He’ll have light work tomorrow (Friday, 26 April), a light canter on the little track. Galaxy Patch (as a main rival), they said Beauty Joy likes the soft ground and I think Brave Emperor also likes soft ground,” Lui said. 

Voyage Bubble drew barrier six, while Galaxy Patch and Beauty Eternal pulled barriers one and 11, respectively.

Trained by Keiji Yoshimura, Obamburumai will step from gate 10 under Damian Lane in the FWD Champions Mile.

“I didn’t want to take the inner most draw. I drew outside instead, but it will be fine.” Yoshimura said.

Japan’s Elton Barows and Champagne Color break from barriers five and two, respectively.

Back from finishing a commendable third in the G1 Takamatsunomiya Kinen (1200m) in Japan last month, Victor The Winner drew gate two for trainer Danny Shum ahead of Sunday’s HK$22 million G1 Chairman’s Sprint Prize (1200m). 

“It’s a good draw. He’s very easy – he’s jump and go, this horse. For him, it’s easy. The soft track is an advantage. Hopefully, he’s got a chance,” Shum said.

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