Golden Sixty took another important step toward December’s LONGINES Hong Kong International Races riches with victory in today’s (Sunday, 18 October) G2 Oriental Watch Sha Tin Trophy Handicap (1600m) at Sha Tin, a result that all but confirmed a changing of the guard at the very top of Hong Kong’s pecking order.
The Francis Lui-trained gelding scored his ninth straight win and his 12th from 13 starts as he comfortably despatched several of Hong Kong’s best performers of recent seasons including dual Horse of the Year Beauty Generation.
Last season’s Four-Year-Old Classic Series champion, under Vincent Ho, quickened from the middle of the pack with a closing 400 metres clocked at 21.81s – his fastest closing 400 metres since a slick 21.65s recorded when he won in Class 2 at this fixture last year – beating Encouraging, the 1400m Sha Tin track record holder.
Adding further merit to his time and performance, the Medaglia d’Oro gelding seemingly switched off once he hit the front as if the job was done, but a few reminders from Vincent Ho followed and he kicked on for a soft half-length win, with Ka Ying Star in second, Southern Legend in third, while Beauty Generation faded to sixth.
“He does switch off, two maybe three strides after he hits the front, he always does – that’s why he never wins by huge margins,” Ho said.
The newly turned five-year-old, who swept aside his four-year-old peers last season, followed his first-up G3 Celebration Cup Handicap (1400m) success with another impressive display which confirms he is Hong Kong’s new star.