Good As ‘Gold’ in the Classic Mile


Golden Sixty | HKJC photo

by Alan Carasso

Dispatched the $1.80 (5-4 on) favourite to run his lifetime record to eight wins from nine runs, Golden Sixty (Aus) (Medaglia d’Oro) took off once in the clear in upper stretch and whooshed home to best his Francis Lui stablemate More Than This (GB) (Dutch Art {GB}) by a comfortable 1 1/4 lengths.

The early sections of the Classic Mile were run at a muddling pace, and that caused the likes of Star Performance (NZ) (Per Incanto) and the well-backed Beauty Legacy (Aus) (Fiorente {Ire}) to overrace while Golden Sixty settled in the latter third of the field for the opening 800m. With Vincent Ho looking to get into the clear off the home corner, Golden Sixty ran to daylight four or five away from the inside at the quarter pole and finished his final 400m in :22.24 to record a cosy success. More Than This, rousted along early by Ryan Moore, trailed down the back and was home slightly faster than the winner for second, while Champion’s Way (Aus) (Hinchinbrook {Aus}) endured a wide trip without cover and was admirable in third.

Beauty Legacy finally settled for Joao Moreira at midway and copped a check when More Than This crossed him inside the final furlong, but was likely never finishing better than fourth in what will be a useful trial going forward.

“Golden Sixty has done what has been asked of him every time,” Lui told the HKJC’s David Morgan. “Last race he went 1400 metres, this race was a mile and next time will be 1800 metres in the [Feb. 23] Hong Kong Classic Cup, so we will take it step by step. If he runs well in the Classic Cup we will go to the [Mar. 22 BMW Hong Kong] Derby.”

Lui will also send More Than This into the Classic Cup.

“I think More Than This can handle the Derby distance, and Golden Sixty, the next race is the Classic Cup, so I’ll take it step by step but the main target for both is the Derby,” Lui added.

Pedigree Notes:

Golden Sixty, who became his sire’s first Hong Kong stakes winner in the G3 Chinese Club Challenge Cup H. last time, was an A$120,000 purchase out of the 2017 Magic Millions Gold Coast Yearling Sale, then made for a solid pinhook when fetching NZ$300,000 from Lui at New Zealand Bloodstock’s Ready To Run Sale 10 months later (under-tack preview).

Golden Sixty is one of four winners from six to race from his dam, winner of the 2006 G2 Debutante S. at Leopardstown for trainer Jim Bolger. His stakes-placed second dam was a half-sister to four full black-type winners, including champion Proskona (Mr. Prospector) and Korveya (Riverman), the dam of the outstanding champion and MG1SW Bosra Sham (Woodman), fellow champion and French Classic winner Hector Protector (Woodman) and G1 Pouliches victress Shanghai (Procida). Golden Sixty’s third dam includes Hong Kong fan favourite and MG1SW California Memory (Highest Honor {Fr}).

Those questioning Golden Sixty’s chances of seeing out longer trips would be heartened by the cross of Medaglia d’Oro over sire sons of Forty Niner which has yielded the likes of US Horse of the Year Rachel Alexandra (out of a daughter of Roar), champion Songbird and other 10-furlong Grade I winners Elate and New Money Honey  (each o/o a Distorted Humor dam).

Gaudeamus is the dam of a 2-year-old colt by Choisir (Aus), a weanling filly by G1 Golden Slipper S. winner Capitalist (Aus) (Written Tycoon {Aus}) and was most recently bred to Trapeze Artist (Aus) (Snitzel {Aus}) on a Nov. 18 cover date.

Monday, Sha Tin, Hong Kong
HONG KONG CLASSIC MILE-LR, HK$10,000,000 (£985,278/€1,136,233/A$1,889,589/US$1,286,163), NH/SH4yo, 1600mT, 1:33.61, gd.
1–GOLDEN SIXTY (AUS), 126, g, 4, by Medaglia d’Oro
1st Dam: Gaudeamus (GSW-Ire, $179,846), by Distorted Humor
2nd Dam: Leo’s Lucky Lady, by Seattle Slew
3rd Dam: Konafa, by Damascus
(A$120,000 Ylg ’17 MMGCYS; NZ$300,000 2yo ’17 NZBRTR). O-Stanley Chan Ka Leung; B-Asco International Pty Ltd; T-Francis Lui; J-Vincent Ho; HK$5,700,000. Lifetime Record: GSW-HK, 9-8-0-0, HK$14,370,600.
2–More Than This (GB), 126, g, 4, Dutch Art (GB)–Striving (Ire), by Danehill Dancer (Ire). (40,000gns Ylg ’17 TATOCT). O-Huang Kai Wen; B-Cheveley Park Stud Ltd; T-Francis Lui; J-Ryan Moore; HK$2,200,000.
3–Champion’s Way (Aus), 126, g, 4, Hinchinbrook (Aus)–Greta’s Yarn (Aus), by Redoute’s Choice (Aus). (A$150,000 Ylg ’17 INGFEB). O-Dr & Mrs Arthur Leung, Elaine & Angela Leung; B-G Bunt (NSW); T-John Size; J-Karis Teetan; HK$1,150,000.
Margins: 1 1/4, 1HF, 1HF. Odds: 4-5, 17-5, 14-1.
Also Ran: Beauty Legacy (Aus), Star Performance (NZ), Buddies (Aus), Playa del Puente (Ire), Decrypt (Ire), Awe (GB).
Click for the HKJC chart, PPs and sectional timing. VIDEO.

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