A QUALITY Card at Sha Tin on Sunday featured a trio of Group 2 races and Golden Sixty, Hong Kong’s latest racing sensation, continued his seemingly inexorable march to December and Group One glory with his tenth consecutive win in the 1600m Group 2 Jockey Club Mile. It was a win which came with such authority that even the prospect of stiffer international competition, in next month’s Group 1 Hong Kong Mile, over the same Sha Tin course and distance, may not be enough to end the winning streak of the Francis Lui-trained 5yo and regular jockey Vincent Ho.Golden Sixty, owned by Stanley Chan Ka Leung, recorded his 13th win from 14 starts and became just the fourth horse to win ten consecutive races in Hong Kong, emulating greats Silent Witness, Beauty Generation and Co-Tack.
Victory in the 13 December showpiece would see him eclipse Beauty Generation and Co-Tack whose winning runs came to an end at ten straight. Silent Witness’ 17 consecutive victories may be a distant and near untouchable target but the Australian-bred Medaglia D’Oro gelding has made a habit of making history: being just the second horse to sweep Hong Kong’s 4yo Classic Series and the first to win the 2000m Hong Kong Derby for all local connections since Hong Kong racing turned professional. Golden Sixty, unbeaten in three runs this season, was capably and patiently ridden by Ho before launching an electric late assault to arrogantly condemn, by a length and a half, modest Ka Ying Star and Southern Legend to the minor placings after that pair had dictated a moderate early tempo. “He felt really good and sprinted home really well,” Ho said. “The main goal was to settle him as normal, to relax him and he hit the line strongly. He will always produce a really good last quarter. I was happy with how he raced, he’s getting quieter and he knows what’s going on now.
“Actually I think at the moment he’s one of the best horses in Hong Kong. That’s for sure. He’ll be competing at Group One level now and hopefully we will be winning next month. That was our main goal and main target from last season. “I’ve never been in a Formula 1 car but I feel like riding him it’s probably similar. He’s a once in a lifetime horse for me,” he concluded. Hot King Prawn will carry high hopes into the 1200m Group 1 Hong Kong Sprint after shrugging off a wide passage and nine rivals to win the Group 2 Jockey Club Sprint. The imposing grey was three-quarters of a length too good for his opponents but scored with more mastery than the margin might suggest, leaving jockey Joao Moreira and trainer John Size satisfied that the 6yo Denman gelding is in form good enough perhaps to snare an overdue first career Group One.
“He’s won with authority, not to disrespect the other horses in the race because some of those might improve as well, but I just couldn’t be any happier with him. He’s going to December as an improving horse; he’s a class horse, a quality horse, and we can go there with plenty of confidence, there’s no doubt that’s the race we want to win,” Brazilian Moreira said after Hot King Prawn held off Computer Patch and the late charge of Rattan. A classy win by Furore proved his success over Exultant was no fluke as he did it again to lead home a 1-2 for trainer Tony Cruz in the 200m Group 2 Jockey Club Cup. Having not won for 19 months before his previous start, Furore proved then he is back to his best when he overhauled his multiple Group One-winning stablemate and he repeated the dose here. “I’m glad they’re not in the same race! Exultant will be in the Vase and Furore will be in the Cup,” trainer Tony Cruz confirmed after Moreira completed a big race double on the card.