An ‘Underdog’ Yet Again, Golden Sixty Claims Second HK Gold Cup

For the third time in four starts this season, this time in Sunday’s G1 Citi Hong Kong Gold Cup, two-time Hong Kong Horse of the Year Golden Sixty (Aus) (Medaglia d’Oro) jumped at a quote of even-money or better, not insignificant given that his highest starting price in his 14 appearances prior to that was $1.80 (4-5).

That he offered his backers $2.30 was only logical, as he was facing off with Romantic Warrior (Ire) (Acclamation {GB}), perfect in four starts over the course and 2000-metre distance, which was supposed to be the great equaliser and level the playing field. Romantic Warrior, off as the $1.50 jolly Sunday, got first run and turned for home with every conceivable chance, but Golden Sixty was all guts when push came to shove and was home a head to the good to win for the 24th time from 28 starts, including a narrow success in this event two years ago.

Sunday’s game plan was a pretty straight-forward one–don’t let Romantic Warrior out of your sights–and Vincent Ho followed those instructions to the letter, even having to get after Golden Sixty through demanding middle sectionals. Karis Teetan aboard the favourite tried to win the race 600 metres from home and the duo struck to the lead, even as Golden Sixty was poised to tackle him. While his customary turn of acceleration was noticeably and understandably less electric given the distance of the Gold Cup, Golden Sixty continued to knuckle down and grabbed Romantic Warrior a handful of strides before the winning post. Money Catcher (NZ) (Ferlax {NZ}) made the running into the straight and held gamely for third.

“He was very relaxed today, I even had to ask him a little to keep up today in the back straight and, of course, I had another great horse to follow through and ask for the full effort at the 200- [metre mark],” said Ho. “I just had to stay close with him and don’t let him get away too far.”

Ho added, “To be honest, I expected the other horse would have beaten us but, of course, I just do my best on Golden Sixty without hurting him too much for the Champions Mile or if we go to Japan, so it’s going to take time for him to recover, aged seven now. I just don’t want to overdo it, but doing my best to [help him] perform at that level.”

It was an eighth Group 1 conquest for Golden Sixty, equaling the number achieved by Beauty Generation (NZ) (Road To Rock {Aus}) and his earnings now exceed an eye-watering HK$136 million. Next up could be the G2 Chairman’s Trophy back over a mile on Apr. 9 into either the G1 Champions’ Mile or the G1 FWD QE II Cup (2000m) Apr. 30. Though the G1 Yasuda Kinen in early June remains an option, Golden Sixty remains an outside chance to shoot for the older horse Triple Crown in the G1 Champions and Chater Cup over 12 furlongs May 28.



Sunday, Sha Tin, Hong Kong
CITI HONG KONG GOLD CUP-G1, HK$12,000,000, Sha Tin, 2-26, 2000mT, 1:59.98, gd/fm.
1–GOLDEN SIXTY (AUS), 126, g, 7, 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 ’17 NZBRTR). O-Stanley Chan Ka Leung; B-Asco International Pty Ltd (Qld); T-Francis Lui Kin-wai; J-Vincent Ho Chak-yiu; HK$6,840,000. Lifetime Record: 2x Horse of the Year, Ch. Middle Distance Horse & Ch. 4yo-HK, 28-24-2-1, HK$136,530,600. *1/2 to Igitur (Aus) (Helmet {Aus}), SP-Aus; and Rainbow Connection (Aus) (Choisir {Aus}), GSP-Aus. Werk Nick Rating: A+++ *Triple Plus*. Click for the eNicks report & 5-cross pedigree. Click for the free catalog-style pedigree.
2–Romantic Warrior (Ire), 126, g, 5, Acclamation (GB)–Folk Melody (Ire), by Street Cry (Ire). (300,000gns Ylg ’19 TATOCT; HK$4,800,000 HRA ’21 HKJUN). O-Peter Lau Pak Fai; B-Corduff Stud & T J Rooney; T-Danny Shum Chap-shing; J-Karis Teetan; HK$2,640,000.
3–Money Catcher (NZ), 126, g, 5, Ferlax (NZ)–Warren’s Sister (NZ), by Savabeel (Aus). (NZ$13,000 Wlg ’18 NZBMAY; NZ$60,000 2yo ’19 NZBRTR). O-The Sunflower Syndicate; B-Haunui Bloodstock Ltd; T-Frankie Lor Fu-chuen; HK$1,200,000.
Margins: HD, 1 1/4, 3/4. Odds: 13-10, 1-2, 45-1.
Also Ran: Glorious Dragon (Ire), Panfield (Chi), Tourbillon Diamond (Aus), Ka Ying Star (GB). Click for the chart, PPs and sectional timing. VIDEO.

So-Ho Team To Take Out the Classic Cup

Trainer Chris So celebrated the most important victory of his career when Super Sunny Sing (Aus) (Nicconi {Aus}), ridden by Ho about 70 minutes after the Gold Cup, swept past Sword Point (Aus) (American Pharoah) in the dying stages to scoop the Hong Kong Classic Cup, the final local lead-up to the BMW Hong Kong Derby three weeks down the road.

Settled with about four rivals behind as Sword Point dropped over from his high draw to apply some pressure to all-the-way Classic Mile winner Voyage Bubble (Aus) (Deep Field {Aus}) and Jamie Kah, the 12-5 favourite was swung out wide and into the clear approaching the stretch. Sword Point, Group 2-placed in Australia for Chris Waller, claimed Voyage Bubble with about a furlong to race, but Super Sunny Sing was motoring home down the centre of the track and did his best running through the line with a final 400 metres in a slick :22.70. Galaxy Witness (Aus) (Star Witness {Aus}) earned a photo for third over Classic Mile runner-up Tuchel (NZ) (Redwood {GB}).

Super Sunny Sing is reportedly the first to win the Classic Cup while making his Classic series debut since the legendary Ambitious Dragon (NZ) (Pins {Aus}) a dozen years ago.

“To get a horse to win this race makes me very happy and it relieves a lot of pressure now,” said So, who was an assistant to Caspar Fownes before going out on his own in 2013. “Today has proven that he should handle further distance, but let’s see how he pulls up–if he’s sound and happy, we target the Derby. We won’t change too much on the programme and just keep him happy.”

A 26th stakes winner for Nicconi and first in Hong Kong, Super Sunny Sing was purchased by John Foote Bloodstock for A$48,000 at the 2020 Inglis Classic Sale. Foote also bought Galaxy Witness for A$160,000 at the Magic Millions Gold Coast Sale that year. Red Centre’s last listed produce is the 3-year-old Press Statement (Aus) filly Altrove (Aus), odds-on winner of a Class 1 handicap at Albury Feb. 2 and runner-up in a Class 2 this past Saturday.



Sunday, Sha Tin, Hong Kong
HONG KONG CLASSIC CUP-LR, HK$12,000,000, Sha Tin, 2-26, NH/SH4yo, 1800mT, 1:46.26, gd/fm.
1–SUPER SUNNY SING (AUS), 126, g, 4, by Nicconi (Aus)
1st Dam: Red Centre (Aus), by Rubiton (Aus)
2nd Dam: Land of Dreams (Aus), by Kenvain (Aus)
3rd Dam: Holograph (Aus), by Bletchingly (Aus)
1ST BLACK-TYPE WIN. (A$48,000 Ylg ’20 INGFEB). O-Janice Wong Oi Ying; B-Miss J Henderson, Etak Thoroughbreds (NSW); T-Chris So Way-yin; J-Vincent Ho Chak-yiu; HK$6,840,000. Lifetime Record: 9-5-1-1, HK$10,908,900. *Formerly Axe Atkins (Aus). **1/2 to Too Many Reds (Aus) (Magic Albert {Aus}), MSP-Aus, $293,613.
2–Sword Point (Aus), 126, g, 4, American Pharoah–Jazz Song (Aus), by Fastnet Rock (Aus). (A$750,000 Ylg ’20 MMGCYS). O-Li Chi Pong; B-Morning Rise Stud (Vic); T-Frankie Lor Fu-chuen; J-Hugh Bowman; HK$2,640,000.
3–Galaxy Witness (Aus), 126, g, 4, Star Witness (Aus)–Black Tulip (Aus), by Lonhro (Aus). (A$160,000 Ylg ’20 MMGCYS). O-Winnie Law Wing Yin; B-Bird Rock Thoroughbreds (Vic); T-Caspar Fownes; J-Blake Shinn; HK$1,200,000.
Margins: HF, 2 1/4, NO. Odds: 12-5, 9-1, 17-1.
Also Ran: Tuchel (NZ), Flagship Warrior (Aus), Voyage Bubble (Aus), Bon’s A Pearla (Aus), Sinba (Aus), Majestic Colour (Aus), La City Blanche (Arg), Sweet Encounter (NZ), Encounterd (Ire), Keefy (Aus), Beautyverse (NZ). Click for the chart, PPs and sectional timing.

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