Golden Sixty, Wellington, California Spangle and Romantic Warrior head an elite group of Hong Kong contenders for the 2022 HK$110 million LONGINES Hong Kong International Races (HKIR) at Sha Tin on 11 December, as the overall number of nominations for the glittering meeting grew to 172, including 53 individual Group 1 winners, at the close of entries.
Group 1 winners Sky Field, Russian Emperor, Panfield, Waikuku and Stronger have also joined the LONGINES HKIR fray, intent on bolstering Hong Kong’s quest against a formidable entry of 127 overseas-trained gallopers, featuring 44 Group 1 winners.
Offering record prize money this year, the four Group 1 features – the HK$34 million G1 LONGINES Hong Kong Cup (2000m), HK$30 million G1 LONGINES Hong Kong Mile (1600m), HK$24 million G1 LONGINES Hong Kong Sprint (1200m) and HK$22 million G1 LONGINES Hong Kong Vase (2400m) – have attracted entries from nine different countries.
Francis Lui has left his options open with Hong Kong champion Golden Sixty, lodging entries in both the LONGINES Hong Kong Mile and the LONGINES Hong Kong Cup. If ultimately set for the LONGINES Hong Kong Mile, Golden Sixty will attempt to emulate Good Ba Ba’s feat in 2007, 2008 and 2009 of clinching the feature in three consecutive seasons.
Hong Kong’s reigning Horse of the Year, Golden Sixty is slated to make his seasonal return in the G2 BOCHK Private Wealth Jockey Club Mile (1600m) on 20 November, when he is due to face 2022 BMW Hong Kong Derby (2000m) and G1 FWD QEII Cup (2000m) winner Romantic Warrior and California Spangle, who is also entered for the LONGINES Hong Kong Sprint (1200m).