The Hong Kong Jockey Club Chief Executive Officer Mr Winfried Engelbrecht-Bresges has lauded the success of FWD Champions Day after Hong Kong stars Golden Sixty, Romantic Warrior and Lucky Sweynesse led a clean sweep of the three Group 1 features at Sha Tin on Sunday.
Describing the performances of Hong Kong’s three equine titans as “very special” after Lucky Sweynesse’s Gr1 Chairman’s Sprint Prize (1200m) triumph, Golden Sixty’s record-breaking Gr1 FWD Champions Mile (1600m) romp and Romantic Warrior’s Gr1 FWD QEII Cup (2000m) victory, Mr Engelbrecht-Bresges said the meeting marked the city’s full return to the world stage.
“It was a day that showed Hong Kong racing has fully come back to the world stage with the atmosphere and the performances of these champion horses,” Mr Engelbrecht-Bresges said. “This is really a global event and one which has improved the reputation of Hong Kong racing, especially after COVID.
“There were a lot of people who were a little bit sceptical over whether Hong Kong can rebound quickly but today has shown Hong Kong’s has the ‘Can Do’ spirit and the willingness to stretch. What we saw today was absolutely world-class racing and there were absolutely outstanding performances of really great champions of the turf.
“Humbly, I would submit, Lucky Sweynesse is the best sprinter in the world and one of the best sprinters ever in Hong Kong. Golden Sixty is something every racing jurisdiction dreams of because one has not to forget we have only 1,250 horses and with a horse like Golden Sixty breaking all the records and history, he really is a hero in Hong Kong and globally.
“Romantic Warrior is one of the best horses in the world and especially over 2000m he is a dominant force, especially the way he accelerated.”
Mr Engelbrecht-Bresges said the atmosphere generated by many first-time racecourse attendees was outstanding and he thanked sponsor FWD.
“Today was a fantastic day of racing, the atmosphere was electrifying and the fans definitely supported us – 54,000 (people) is a wonderful result,” Mr Engelbrecht-Bresges said.
Hong Kong Jockey Club Executive Director, Racing Mr Andrew Harding said: “This was a history-making day, it was something very, very special and those successes in my mind at least will be etched in for a very long time.”