Golden Sixty shrugged off a burden of worry following a health setback to win the HK$10 million Hong Kong Classic Cup (1800m) at Sha Tin this afternoon (Sunday, 23 February).
And he did it despite his rider Vincent Ho’s view that he was not at his peak for this second of three legs in the Four-Year-Old Classic Series, having suffered a fever two weeks ago.
“He’s not 100 percent, that’s for sure – he’s about 75 or 80 percent – he won this race because he has a really good fighting heart,” Ho said of Hong Kong’s great new hope.
Ho enjoyed a rocket ride to victory on Golden Sixty in last month’s Hong Kong Classic Mile (1600m) but this time had to rely on his mount’s admirable guts and innate talent to keep alive the dream of a ‘Golden’ clean-sweep in this season’s Classic Series.
The Medaglia D’Oro gelding eased back and settled eighth in the 10-runner field as World Famous set the tempo up front. Stablemate More Than This, a late-closing second in the Classic Mile, rowed past Golden Sixty’s outside flank with around 500m to race but the real danger was ahead.
“Zac (Purton) took off quite early at the 500 (metres) on More Than This and came up outside me; but Ryan Moore’s horse had plenty more in the tank so I just tracked him through the race,” Ho said.