Declaring Golden Sixty in peak condition as he bids for historic success in the G1 FWD Champions Mile (1600m) at Sha Tin on Sunday (24 April), Vincent Ho and Francis Lui believe the outstanding galloper is perfectly suited by an inside draw in the HK$20 million feature.
Chasing an unmatched 21st Hong Kong victory and poised to overtake Beauty Generation’s Hong Kong prize money record of HK$106,233,750 with earnings already of HK$102,000,600, Golden Sixty will bid for his 10th victory over Sha Tin’s 1600m course – and second FWD Champions Mile – from barrier two.
“We’ve got a good draw and obviously there should be two or three horses that will have some good pace. Draw two is perfect for us and we can just track up to them and run them down in the straight,” Ho said.
“He’s 100 percent. He’s right on track and fitter than last time. He’s always got the fighting heart. Since last start, he’s brought on his fitness more and we’re confident going into this race.
“Every time on him is a privilege and to win on him is definitely something really special – words can hardly explain but every time there are goosebumps and every time is different.”
Lui respects Tony Cruz’s emerging star California Spangle, who has four wins and three seconds from seven starts this season, including a last-start second in the BMW Hong Kong Derby (2000m).
“California Spangle is a very strong opponent, he’s young and he has good speed. But barrier two will help Golden Sixty position himself in a very good place so he doesn’t have to chase from too far back and hopefully he will win it again,” Lui said.
To be ridden by Zac Purton, California Spangle will jump from gate five but has Healthy Happy – another front-runner – drawn in barrier four.
“This will be his toughest race ever because he’s running with the champion horses, all the good horses are in. It’s a strong field,” Cruz said. “I think the mile is perfect distance for him. I believe he is still improving and I believe if he gets his own way, he’ll run a big race. Healthy Happy is the only horse that can spoil the race for us.”