Graduates of the 2020 Four-Year-Old Classic Series, Golden Sixty and More Than This have had vastly contrasting careers since – like most in comparison to Hong Kong’s reigning Horse of the Year.
Pitted then as Hong Kong’s Generation Next, Golden Sixty has soared to inexorable heights – where he currently remains – while More Than This – with a few setbacks along the way – is without a win since December, 2019.
But on his day, More Than This boasts a powerful finish and his two best efforts since his sparkling 2019/20 campaign have come at G1 level – twice behind Golden Sixty, including his heart-in-mouth second to Hong Kong’s champion in the 2021 G1 FWD Champions Mile (1600m) when he clocked the fastest final 400m of the race – 22.24s.
While this term – at his second outing – he again chased his imperious classmate into second – this time by slightly over a length in the G1 LONGINES Hong Kong Mile (1600m) against an internationally acclaimed cast from Japan, Ireland and Hong Kong last month.
Gearing up for his third start this season, More Than This is once again tasked with the all too familiar mission of attempting to overthrow the kingpin of Hong Kong racing – this time in Sunday’s (23 January) HK$12 million G1 Stewards’ Cup (1600m) at Sha Tin and jockey Derek Leung – while wary of the task at hand – is taking solace in additional “improvement” from the Dutch Art gelding between runs.
“I’m sure with a smooth run he will get some prize money, we have the Horse of the Year (Golden Sixty) in the race but my horse is fitter now, he’s only had two runs this season, so his fitness is getting better and in the mornings he’s slightly improved,” Leung said.