Golden Sixty Has Chance To Become Richest Horse In Hong Kong Racing History - Horse Racing News | Paulick Report
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Golden Sixty Has Chance To Become Richest Horse In Hong Kong Racing History

Francis Lui pats Golden Sixty following a victory

Victory in Sunday's (April 24) HK$20 million (US$ 2.55 million) G1 FWD Champions Mile (1600m, or one mile) would elevate Golden Sixty to status as the highest prize money earner in Hong Kong racing history and, if his latest win wasn't convincing enough, trainer Francis Lui has issued an ominous warning to rivals that Hong Kong's champion is back in a very, very big way.

“He seems to have improved his condition, he seems to be back – he showed that,” said Lui of the 6-year-old gelding who sauntered to success by two lengths in the G2 Chairman's Trophy last start.

That triumph earlier this month saw him banish successive defeats with his 20th career win as he ticked over HK$102,000,600 (about US$13 million) in earnings and an FWD Champions Mile repeat on Sunday would see him leapfrog the current record-holder for prize money in Hong Kong – Beauty Generation, who banked HK$106,233,750 (about US$13.5 million)

A cheque for HK$11.4 million (US$1.45 million) is on offer to the winner this weekend and it is well within Golden Sixty's grasp, even second place will get him into top spot for all-time earnings.

One of his key threats emerges as an unknown commodity to the Horse of the Year in the shape of California Spangle, a smart 4-year-old with a high cruising speed trained by none other than Tony Cruz.

California Spangle – along with Romantic Warrior – has emerged from his four-year-old class with big wraps as a worthy contender to more established rivals this weekend after leading throughout to claim the Hong Kong Classic Cup (1800m, 1 1/8 miles) before narrowly going down in the BMW Hong Kong Derby (2000m, 1 1/4 miles) last month.

But a level-headed Lui remains unperturbed by his inclusion.

“He (California Spangle) will be a good horse and he's a front-runner, it all depends on the field and the situation but I feel that my horse is the mature horse and he has had more experience,” Lui said.

Golden Sixty sits two points of shy of top-spot in the latest edition of the LONGINES World's Best Racehorse Rankings. The gelding is a five-time Group 1 winner, four-time Group 2 winner and two-time Group 3 winner from 23 starts.

“I am proud, it's not easy to have a good horse like him,” Lui said.

Golden Sixty is aiming to complete the Hong Kong Mile-Champions Mile double in the same season for a second time, a feat also completed by Beauty Generation (2018 & 2019).

This morning at Sha Tin (April 19), Golden Sixty worked through a gallop on the turf under Vincent Ho.

“He felt good, he was very relaxed and when I asked him to join up (to the partner horse) he picked up nicely, the other horse travelled quite strongly but we went passed him in a couple of strides,” Ho said. “He definitely felt better today, so I'm happy with that.”

Last year, Ho collected a pair of Group 1s on FWD Champions Day with Golden Sixty as well as Loves Only You in the G1 FWD QEII Cup; this year, the 31-year-old hops aboard Zebrowski for Caspar Fownes in the 10-furlong feature.

“It was definitely one of the best days, the Derby with Golden Sixty and December, too, but Champions Day with Golden Sixty in the Champions Mile and Loves Only You in the QEII Cup was something very special, it wasn't a usual day that's for sure, it was special,” Ho said.

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