Queensland bred and sold four-year-old Golden Sixty confirmed his status as the new superstar of Hong Kong with a sensational come from behind win in the HK$20 million Hong Kong Derby (2000m) at Sha Tin tonight.
Sent out the hot favourite after a faultless season and red hot lead up form, Golden Sixty had to produce a powerhouse finish to reel in the outsider Playa Del Puente who benefited from a near perfect Blake Shinn ride.
In the shadows of the post, under the urgings of jockey Vincent Ho, Golden Sixty was able to grab the outsider for a stunning victory.
In winning Golden Sixty became just the second horse to sweep the Four-Year-Old Series in Hong Kong, following in the hoofsteps of former champion Australian bred galloper Rapper Dragon.
“Round the bend, they slowed down the pace and that’s why the other horse was able to run away but Golden Sixty showed excellent acceleration,” winning trainer Francis Lui said. “I was worried but I could see Golden Sixty was trying very hard.”
“It’s not easy,” Lui added. “I’m very happy – I have to say thank you to my stable team.”
Winning jockey Vincent Ho became the first homegrown rider to win the coveted Hong Kong Derby since Tony Cruz in 1995. Last month he rode his 300th winner in his homeland and Golden Sixty has now taken him to the highest level of local racing.
“I think I can sleep well tonight, all the pressure on my shoulders has just gone,” Ho said.
“It’s an amazing feeling to win all the four-year-old classics and he’s a superstar for sure; I think today, especially, it was very difficult to come from behind and sprint like that,” Ho added.
With 10 wins from 11 lifetime starts, Golden Sixty is building an incredible resume. He’s earned over HK$30 million (over A$7 million) and is providing his owner Stanley Chan with some incredible thrills already.
Golden Sixty was bred by the Hutchins family in Queensland and sold through their Element Hill draft for A$120,000 at the 2017 Magic Millions Gold Coast Yearling Sale.
He is by El Prado’s top sire son Medaglia d’Oro and from an international Group Two winning daughter of Distorted Humor.
His dam Gaudeamus scored her biggest win in the Group Two Debutant Stakes at Leopardstown. She also won the listed Woodpark & Ballysheehan Studs Stakes at The Curragh.
At stud she’s produced five winners from seven to race and aside from Golden Sixty she is the dam of the Tasmanian Derby placegetter Igitur – a now South Australian based performer who is a last start winner at Murray Bridge.
Winner: Golden Sixty
- Breeding: Medaglia d’Oro-Gaudeamus (Distorted Humor)
- Race: HKJC Hong Kong Derby (2000m)
- Sold for: A$120,000
- Sale: 2017 Magic Millions Gold Coast Yearling Sale
- Vendor: Element Hill
- Buyer: Riversley Park/Enigma Farm
- Earnings: HK$31,470,600
- Owner(s): Stanley Chan Ka Leung
- Trainer: Francis Lui