Golden Sixty Repeats As Hong Kong HOTY

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Golden Sixty | HKJC photo

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Golden Sixty (Aus) (Medaglia d'Oro) joined the likes of Hong Kong legends Fairy King Prawn (Aus), Silent Witness (Aus), Ambitious Dragon (NZ) and Beauty Generation (NZ) in being named Horse of the Year in Hong Kong for the second consecutive season during ceremonies held Friday evening at the Hong Kong Jockey Club's Happy Valley Clubhouse.

The 6-year-old won his first two starts of the year, including a facile defence of his title in the G1 Longines Hong Kong Mile in December, but suffered just the second loss of his career in the G1 Stewards' Cup in January when attempting to equal Silent Witness's record of 17 consecutive victories in Hong Kong. Only third when tried over the 10 furlongs of the G1 City Hong Kong Gold Cup, he was back to winning ways over his best trip in the G2 Chairman's Trophy in April and a second straight success in the G1 Champions Mile in May.

Trained by Francis Lui and the mount of Vincent Ho, Golden Sixty, who was also named champion miler and most popular horse, has amassed record Hong Kong earnings of better than HK$113 million (US$14.4 million), with 21 wins from 24 trips to the post.

 

WATCH: Golden Sixty repeats in the G1 Longines Hong Kong Mile

 

In a world without Golden Sixty, 4-year-old Romantic Warrior (Ire) (Acclamation {GB}) would be a slam-dunk for Horse of the Year, but nonetheless was named champion of this year's Classic crop on the strength of victories in the Hong Kong Classic Mile and BMW Hong Kong Derby before stamping his authority on the G1 FWD QE II Cup in April. The Hong Kong International Sale graduate was also the most improved horse in the jurisdiction, having risen from the standard debut mark of 52 to a season-ending 122, and also took down honours as top middle-distance galloper as well.

Russian Emperor (Ire) (Galileo {Ire}), third in the G1 Longines Hong Kong Cup and in the Stewards' Cup, ran out an easy 4 1/4-length winner of the Gold Cup and added the final Group 1 of the season–the Champions and Chater Cup over 2400 metres–to be named champion stayer. The former G3 Hampton Court S. hero is the 17th worldwide champion for the legendary Galileo.

By virtue of tallies in the G1 Queen's Silver Jubilee Cup (1400m) and G1 Chairman's Sprint Prize (1200m), Wellington (Aus) (All Too Hard {Aus}) earned champion sprinter honours, while the progressive Lucky Sweynesse (NZ) (Sweynesse {Aus}) was named champion griffin for a season that has thus far yielded four wins from six runs. The 3-year-old is declared for the Class 3 Joy and Fun H. (1200m) on Saturday's final program of the year at Sha Tin.

Zac Purton, who enters Saturday's finale in a tie with Joao Moreira on 132 riding victories, was named most popular jockey by public vote.

 

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