Golden Sixty stands alone as Hong Kong’s most prolific winner in history after he successfully defended his Group 1 LONGINES Hong Kong Mile (1600m) crown at Sha Tin on Sunday (12 December).
Nailing yet another heart-stopping win under jockey Vincent Ho, Hong Kong’s champion savoured the 19th win of his career to set a new record in town, surpassing the previous mantle of 18 he shared with Silent Witness and Beauty Generation, dating back to when the professional era of Hong Kong racing commenced in 1971.
Smashing a fine field of 10 others from Japan, Ireland and Hong Kong including this year’s Group 1 Yasuda Kinen (1600m) winner (Danon Kingly), Golden Sixty enhanced his earnings to a mouth-watering HKD$95.453 million with victory, just HKD$10.78 million shy of the record mark (in Hong Kong) set by Beauty Generation (HKD$106.233 million).
Racing in the silks of Stanley Chan Ka-Leung and trained by Francis Lui, Golden Sixty – ‘The Pride of Hong Kong’ – delivered a performance worthy of status as the world’s best miler.
“I feel very happy, he’s my champion and I have to say thank you to my team and Vincent (Ho) and the owner – they support me,” Lui said.
Extending his winning sequence to 16, Ho dropped the Medaglia d’Oro gelding back to the second half of the field on the fence; in the straight, Ho weaved for an out, eventually taking a split at the 300m mark before his sparkling dash carried him to a one and three quarter length victory in a time of 1m 33.86s.
“I knew he was at his best, gate two was a little bit tricky, I didn’t want to be stuck on the inside but eventually the race panned out well and the pace was genuine,” Ho said.
More Than This filled second spot while Salios and Mother Earth grabbed third and fourth, respectively.
“It was much better today because the pace was on, he actually relaxed very well and as a six-year-old he’s more mature, so it’s even better,” Ho said.
The success is the second at the LONGINES Hong Kong International Races for both Francis Lui and Vincent Ho, while today’s performance sees Golden Sixty remain unbeaten since September, 2019.
“It’s all about teamwork as well, without anyone from the stable we couldn’t do this,” Ho said.
A six-year-old – Golden Sixty – boasts eight wins over 1200m and 1400m, while twice he has stepped up to 2000m successfully, claiming the 2020 BMW Hong Kong Derby and 2021 Group 1 Citi Hong Kong Gold Cup.
“He’s such an aggressive horse so he doesn’t mind going through horses,” Ho said of the gelding’s tenacity.
Today, Ho savoured the win in front of an adoring crowd, which throughout the COVID-19 pandemic has been absent at times or in a smaller capacity.
“Last year it wasn’t like this, I got to enjoy it with the crowd and it’s such a great atmosphere, I just hope the other guys are ok, it’s hard to enjoy it completely,” Ho said, also reflecting on the mishap that occurred earlier in the Group 1 LONGINES Hong Kong Sprint (1200m).