A Golden Triple Crown Dream Is Alive!

Golden Sixty overtook Romantic Warrior in a thrilling final of the HK$12m Gr1 Citi Hong Kong Gold Cup at Sha Tin on Sunday – the second leg of Hong Kong’s Triple Crown – under Vincent Ho for coach Francis Lui.

Wearing owner Stanley Chan’s signature white, blue and gold silk, Golden Sixty gave Romantic Warrior his first loss of track and distance to assert his dominance when he went with a head on his in a winning time of 1m59.98s rival passed.

Vincent Ho produces Golden Sixty in a thrilling finish (Image – HKJC)

Golden Sixty, who was also victorious at the 2021 Citi Hong Kong Gold Cup, broke clean under Ho before holding off in fifth place.

Money Catcher took his usual spot at the top, while Ka Ying Star sat on his outside with Romantic Warrior between the leading duo.

Ho pushed the pace aboard the Golden Sixty before cheering Hong Kong’s champions on the turn at home – behind Karis Teetan as he did on Romantic Warrior. The pair prevailed down the straight, with Golden Sixty catching his rival in much the same way he did in the first leg of the Triple Crown – the Gr1 Stewards’ Cup late last month.

“He was very relaxed today, I even had to ask him a little bit to keep up on the back straight today, and of course I still had a great horse to keep going and to demand full commitment at the 200 (meter mark). said Ho. “I just had to stay close to him (Romantic Warrior) and not let him get too far away.”

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To ensure a Triple Crown Tilt remains an option, Lui explained that consideration is being given to whether Golden Sixty happens to team up with the great River Verdon, who won the 1994 three-race sweep with victory in the third and final stage – the Gr1 – reached the Standard Chartered Champions & Chater Cup on May 28th.

“We’ll see. We have time to think about it because it’s a long road – it’s one of the options we have,” Lui said.

Watch the replay:

Golden Sixty can compete in the Gr2 Chairman’s Trophy on April 9th ​​before heading to either the Gr1 FWD Champions Mile or the Gr1 FWD QEII Cup on FWD Champions Day. The Gr1 Yasuda Kinen (1600m) on June 4 in Tokyo, Japan will become the Medaglia d’Oro gelding’s overseas target – should he go.

“To be honest I expected the other horse to beat us but of course at the Golden Sixty I just do my best without hurting him too much for the Champions Mile or when we go to Japan so it will take some time to recover him, now at the age of seven. I just don’t want to overdo it, but do my best to play (help him) at that level.

“He has a big heart and always tries his best — or sometimes beyond his own limit — so I don’t want to overdo it,” Ho said.

Sunday’s win is Golden Sixty’s eighth at the highest level, taking its all-time winnings to HK$136.53 million with a staggering 24 total wins from 28 starts.

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“I’m very happy. I think this is the best horse of my life and I don’t think I can have another one. You can’t expect another one,” said Lui.

“It’s a difficult consideration I think (it’s going to be Japan) when I plan to skate abroad. I have to take this up with Vincent, but of course he still thinks he’s a Meier.”

The 131 rated Golden Sixty – now in his seven year season – continued to amaze at the track and was bred in Australia and sold to Lui in 2017 for AU$300,000.

“Honestly, if you go visit him, he’s the same – you have to be careful. He will bite you or even kick you. He’s always been like that, that’s his character,” said Lui.

Money Catcher was third this afternoon while Glorious Dragon was fourth.

  • Hong Kong racing resumes at Happy Valley on Wednesday, March 1st.

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