Golden Sixty made a sparkling return to racing at Sha Tin on Sunday with the 22nd victory of his decorated 25-start career and third straight HK$5 million Gr.2 BOCHK Private Wealth Jockey Club Mile (1600m) success.
But his win didn’t come easy. Neck and neck over the concluding stages with California Spangle, jockey Vincent Ho asked Golden Sixty to lift and he responded accordingly, overhauling his brave, youthful adversary by a neck.
Enhancing the merit of his win, Golden Sixty clocked 21.32s for his final 400m after California Spangle set a crawling tempo throughout under jockey Zac Purton.
“I knew Golden Sixty would have the heart to run him down but he's only 80 percent fit, so the last bit is his mental toughness,” Ho said. “Definitely all credit to him and the team – we're looking forward to December now.
“It was a crawling pace at first and at the turn I knew, around the 600m, that Zac (Purton) would pick up the pace for sure, so I was just keeping an eye on what he was doing and I had to come out and make my move earlier.”
A graduate of the New Zealand Bloodstock Ready To Run Sale, the son of Medaglia D’Oro was purchased by his trainer Francis Lui for $300,000 from the draft of Riversley Park.
Enhancing his all-time earnings to HK$116,250,600 (a Hong Kong record), Golden Sixty will be now plotted towards winning a third successive HK$30 million Gr.1 Hong Kong Mile (1600m) at next month’s 2022 LONGINES Hong Kong International Races on Sunday, 11 December.
“We are all happy to see him come back and win a race. Golden Sixty has brought us a lot of fun,” Lui said of Hong Kong’s two-time Horse of the Year.
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.
At last week’s New Zealand Bloodstock Ready To Run Sale, Lui purchased an Iffraaj gelding out of Bella Grace for $375,000 from the draft of Cheltenham Stables through bloodstock agent Willie Leung.