GOLDEN SIXTY with Vincent Ho in the saddle wins the G1 LONGINES Hong Kong Mile
© Photo Healy Racing
By Declan Schuster
Golden Sixty stepped out for a routine barrier trial at Sha Tin this morning (Tuesday, 4 January) as he builds towards the HK$12 million G1 Stewards’ Cup (1600m) on Sunday, 23 January.
Stepping out under familiar ally Vincent Ho, Golden Sixty broke cleanly before extending to cross the line third in 59.41s behind Wellington and Jumbo Fortune over 1000m on the turf.
“He trialled very well, the main thing this morning was to just let him stretch out and have a nice little blow ahead of the race in a couple of weeks, so it’s good to let him do some work,” Ho said.
After soaring to new heights with victory in last month’s G1 LONGINES Hong Kong Mile (1600m), Golden Sixty is looking to join the immortal Silent Witness by collecting his 17th successive win in 19 days’ time — the current record in Hong Kong.
“The Stewards’ Cup is the target and everything is still on track, he’s getting ready again and he feels nice, fresh and happy,” Ho said.
The six-year-old’s last defeat came in July, 2019 — since then he has won 16 consecutive races, swept the Four-Year-Old Classic Series, claimed five G1s and enhanced his earnings to HK$95.45 million.
“Very likely (to be his only trial before the Stewards’ Cup) — he is fit, we just have to maintain it,” Ho said.
Hong Kong’s champion enhanced his overall record to 19 wins with victory at the 2021 LONGINES Hong Kong International Races — setting a new record in town dating back to when the professional era of Hong Kong racing commenced in 1971 — surpassing the 18 that Super Win, Silent Witness and Beauty Generation collected.
The brilliant son of Medaglia d’Oro smashed a fine field of 10 others from Japan, Ireland and Hong Kong in the Hong Kong Mile — including 2021’s G1 Yasuda Kinen (1600m) hero — Danon Kingly.
“If we’re going to travel overseas then the 1400 metre race (G1 Queen’s Silver Jubilee Cup, 20 February) will be good for him, but we still haven’t talked about it,” Ho said.
Looking to Wednesday’s (5 January) nine-race fixture at Happy Valley, Vincent Ho will partner Ka Ying Star in the HK$3.7 million G3 January Cup Handicap (1800m) — the city circuit’s sole Group race.
Facing a weighty task, Ka Ying Star will shoulder 133lb against eight opponents with seven of those allotted 116lb or less. Only Reliable Team (124lb) sits above the 116lb mark.
The Cityscape gelding has had four runs this campaign for two runner-up efforts, his best performance — two starts ago over 2000m in the G2 BOCHK Jockey Club Cup when he finished a neck behind Reliable Team.
“He has the heavy weight but he has class and I think if he feels fresh there then it will be good, distance-wise it’s good and with the track he’s very likely to be leading, it’s good for him,” Ho said.
The seven-year-old — trained by Tony Cruz — boasts a career of incredible consistency in Hong Kong with 18 top-three efforts from 33 runs, including four wins and HK$22.95 million banked.
Tony Cruz is chasing a sixth win in the January Cup after the heroics of Danzighill (2000), Super Goal Striker (2002), Floral Dynamite (2005), Californiamountain (2008) and Pure Champion (2012), while Vincent Ho seeks a second following Doctor Geoff’s win in 2020.
Wednesday’s (5 January) nine-race fixture at Happy Valley kicks off with the second section of the Class 4 Paterson Handicap (1650m).