Golden Sixty (yellow cap) is one of Hong Kong’s most famous racehorses. Photo by HKJC.

Superstar Golden Sixty readies for probable LONGINES Hong Kong International Races swansong

HJKC Staff

HKJC Staff Member

04/12/2023

By Declan Schuster, for the HKJC.

 

Ahead of what shapes as his fourth and final appearance at the LONGINES Hong Kong International Races, Golden Sixty was as enthusiastic as ever at Sha Tin this morning (Monday, 4 December) under former jockey Alex Yu – his regular work rider – while trainer Francis Lui watched on from his traditional vantage point in the trainers’ stand.

Aiming to join Good Ba Ba as the only three-time winners of the HK$32 million G1 LONGINES Hong Kong Mile (1600m) on Sunday (10 December) after his wins in 2020 and 2021, the eight-year-old Golden Sixty warmed up in the sand ring, then on the inner dirt course before eagerly bouncing onto the main dirt course to work through a key gallop under Yu, clocking a time of 25.7s over 400m.

“He’s good. Everything is fine, it’s smooth and he’s improved with each barrier trial he’s had. His condition is very good now,” Lui said. “They’re all very happy – Vincent (Ho) and the whole team.”

A 25-time winner from 29 starts, Golden Sixty will commence his sixth season of racing in Sunday’s (10 December) LONGINES Hong Kong Mile. It will be 224 days between runs when he reappears under race conditions with jockey Vincent Ho in front of an adoring home crowd against opposition from Japan, Ireland, France and Singapore.

“He likes to run fresh. His form and even this morning, he’ll have a turf gallop on Thursday (7 December). It’s been a long time, it’s a tough field, especially the Japanese horses. Hopefully he stays away from trouble and gets a clean run,” Lui said.

Golden Sixty has won all of his five seasonal reappearances, however, he’s yet to resume at Group 1 level against overseas raiders. The Medaglia d’Oro gelding’s last return run saw him defeat California Spangle at Group 2 level, before that horse sensationally reversed the result one start later in the 2022 LONGINES Hong Kong Mile.

Slated for probable retirement in Japan after only a handful of runs this season, Golden Sixty has banked HK$147.93 million in prize money and boasts nine Group 1 wins.

“We’re just focused on the big race. We don’t know though – let the horse tell me (when it’s time to retire). I think so (last Hong Kong International Races) – he’s done his job,” Lui said.

Golden Sixty will face 13 rivals this weekend. California Spangle, Beauty Eternal, Serifos, Soul Rush, Tribalist, Voyage Bubble, Cairo, Encountered and Namur are among his opponents.

BECOME A HUTCHI'S HONKERS MEMBER NOW!

WHAT'S GAMBLING REALLY COSTING YOU?

HUTCHI’S HONKERS SUPPORTS RESPONSIBLE GAMBLING. GAMBLE RESPONSIBLY. 18+ DON’T LET THE GAME PLAY YOU. STAY IN CONTROL. CALL GAMBLING HELP ON 1800 858 858 (AUS). VISIT WWW.GAMBLINGHELP.NSW.GOV.AU OR WWW.GAMBLINGHELPONLINE.ORG.AU.

Australia  |  Hong Kong  |  New Zealand  |  The United Kingdom  |  The USA  |  South Africa