Overseas Options For G60 Following Thrilling Stewards’ Cup

It was billed as a clash of the titans, with Hong Kong’s three highest-rated gallopers squaring off for the first time in the G1 Stewards’ Cup Sunday at Sha Tin. It certainly did not disappoint.

Those who may have thought Golden Sixty (Aus) (Medaglia d’Oro)’s defeat at the hooves of California Spangle (Ire) (Starspangledbanner {Aus}) in last month’s G1 Longines Hong Kong Mile signaled the beginning of the end or a changing of the guard were reminded in no uncertain terms that the 7-year-old retains all of his zest for racing when he ran out a one-length winner. Romantic Warrior (Ire) (Acclamation {GB}), whose rise to the top of the local rankings has been nothing short of meteoric and included a barnstorming win in the G1 Longines Hong Kong Cup on HKIR day, couldn’t quite sprint with Golden Sixty, but did manage to stay on for second over an alibi-free California Spangle.

As opposed to last year’s race, when Vincent Ho–by his own admission–settled Golden Sixty too far off the pace and watched a 16-race winning skein come to an inglorious halt when second to Waikuku (Ire) (Harbour Watch {Ire}), the bay was asked to sit handier this time around, as California Spangle lobbed them along through an opening 800 metres in :49.12, well over a second outside standard time. Romantic Warrior and Karis Teetan were content to monitor proceedings from second and the three market leaders began to get away from their four rivals nearing the straight. Though Purton noticeably upped the tempo, Golden Sixty had him covered, and when daylight appeared one off the fence a furlong out, he made use of his quick turn of foot and went on to a victory that was fairly soft in the finish. Romantic Warrior hit a bit of a flat spot inside the final 200 metres, but managed to pick himself up late.

While COVID-19 was primarily responsible for dashing any plans to travel Golden Sixty the last couple of seasons, connections reported that they had paid up for the G1 Dubai Turf Mar. 25 with the G1 Yasuda Kinen in Tokyo in early June also a possibility. The Feb. 26 G1 Citi Hong Kong Gold Cup and a rematch with Romantic Warrior over the latter’s best trip of 2000 metres is also under consideration.

“We have to see how he pulls up and we’ll discuss with the team,” Ho said. “We have entered the Dubai 1800 on turf as well, so that’s another thought. I think it’s a good race for him and it can be a ‘prep’ race for him if we go to Japan because it’s left-handed and he can get used to the heat and all that.”

Ho suggested that the sometimes-feisty Golden Sixty has learned to harness his energy.

“He was very comfortable [in the run] and this year he has not pulled, so when he jumped very well, he still dropped the bit and made it even easier for me to handle him and decide what position I wanted to get,” he said. “If I wanted him to be faster, he will be and if I drop my reins, he will relax. So, when Zac picked the pace up at the half mile, [Golden Sixty] still followed through very nicely without any effort.

Gaudeamus is also the dam of the unraced 3-year-old filly Golden Sister (Aus) (Capitalist {Aus}), an A$425,000 graduate of the 2021 Magic Millions Gold Coast Yearling Sale who has since been exported to America, and a yearling filly by Medaglia d’Oro‘s G1 Golden Slipper-winning son Vancouver (Aus). She was most recently covered by So You Think (NZ).



Sunday, Sha Tin, Hong Kong
STEWARDS’ CUP-G1, HK$12,000,000, Sha Tin, 1-29, 3yo/up, 1600mT, 1:33.99, gd.
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 2yo ’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, 27-23-2-1, HK$129,960,600. *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 Equineline.com 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–California Spangle (Ire), 126, g, 5, Starspangledbanner (Aus)–Pearlitas Passion (Ire), by High Chaparral (Ire). (€150,000 Ylg ’19 GOFORB). O-Howard Liang Yu Shing; B-M Enright; T-Tony Cruz; Zac Purton; HK$1,200,000.
Margins: 1, NK, 3HF. Odds: 3-2, 1-1, 29-10.
Also Ran: Waikuku (Ire), Beauty Joy (Aus), Russian Emperor (Ire), Panfield (Chi). Click for the HKJC.com chart, PPs and sectional timing.

Voyage Bubble Specta-‘Kah’-lar in Classic Mile…

When jockey Derek Leung opted for Sword Point (Aus) (American Pharoah) in Sunday’s Hong Kong Classic Mile, trainer Ricky Yiu reached out to Mickael Barzalona to partner with Voyage Bubble (Aus) (Deep Field {Aus}), only to lose his services when the Frenchman was handed a suspension in Dubai. The conditioner then rang up Australia’s Jamie Kah, whose first rides in Hong Kong came during last month’s Longines International Jockeys’ Championship, and who jetted in after five mounts Saturday at Moonee Valley in Melbourne. Let go at odds of 11-1, Voyage Bubble was given a perfectly rated ride from the front by the 26-year-old to score the upset.

Favored Packing Treadmill (Aus) (Manhattan Rain {Aus}) and Keefy (Aus) (All Too Hard {Aus}) were the two quickest away, but Kah took advantage of her low draw and, after a bit of a tardy dispatch, sent Voyage Bubble through to lead linking up with the course proper and slowed the pace right down. Passing the half-way point in a modest :48.51, Voyage Bubble was allowed an especially easy time of things from the 800m to the 400m–covering that section in :23.29–and the duo therefore had something left for the finish, sprinting the final two furlongs in :22.78 for a straight-forward success. Tuchel (NZ) (Redwood {GB}) came on for second having sat a perfect inside trip, while Packing Treadmill kept on for third.

“I’m pretty speechless, it’s been a very special day,” said Kah, riding her second winner of the day and third overall in Hong Kong after posting a victory on IJC night. “I’ve had such a great experience here with some beautiful horses I have ridden. I was speechless after and I got goosebumps–it’s hard to make me speechless, it was a very exciting day.”

She added, “He was mapped to get a really nice, sweet run in the race and I was confident. I was just worried about him late as he has the tendency to lay in and I just thought something’s going to swoop him late but he just built and built, he got stronger and stronger and probably at the 200 [-metre mark] I thought we were never in doubt–it was a really impressive win going forward.”

With the victory, Voyage Bubble becomes the 24th black-type winner for Deep Field and his second in Hong Kong, joining 2021 G1 Longines Hong Kong Sprint hero Sky Field (Aus). Overall, Deep Field is the sire of 28 winners from 48 starters in Hong Kong. Voyage Bubble is out of a half-sister to Bannock (Ire) (Bertolini), winner of the Listed Rockingham S. and placed in the G2 Richmond S. and G2 July S. for Sheikh Hamdan Bin Mohammed al Maktoum and Mark Johnston as well as Australian listed winner Moulin Lady (Aus) (Reset {Aus}). This is also the extended female family of Canadian Horse of the Year Never Retreat (Smart Strike) and Sweetest Chant.



Sunday, Sha Tin, Hong Kong
HONG KONG CLASSIC MILE-LR, HK$12,000,000, Sha Tin, 1-29, NH/SH4yo, 1600mT, 1:34.58, gd.
1–VOYAGE BUBBLE (AUS), 126, g, 4, by Deep Field (Aus)
1st Dam: Raheights (Aus), by Rahy
2nd Dam: Laoub, by Red Ransom
3rd Dam: Lisieux, by Steady Growth
1ST BLACK-TYPE WIN. (A$380,000 Ylg ’20 INGFEB). O-Sunshine and Moonlight Syndicate; B-Torryburn Stud (NSW); T-Ricky Yiu Poon-fai; J-Jamie Kah; HK$6,840,000. Lifetime Record: 9-4-3-1, HK$10,617,725. *1/2 to Brettan (Aus) (Commands {Aus}), SP-Aus; and Diddums (Aus) (Snitzel {Aus}), GSW-Aus, $164,688.
2–Tuchel (NZ), 126, g, 4, Redwood (GB)–Trista Rossa (Aus), by Testa Rossa (Aus). (NZ$130,000 Ylg ’20 NZBJAN). O-Philip Chan Kwok Chung; B-G Harvey; T-John Size; J-Luke Currie; HK$2,640,000.
3–Packing Treadmill (Aus), 126, g, 4, Manhattan Rain (Aus)–I’m An Outoftowner (Aus), by Dane Shadow (Aus). (A$30,000 Wlg ’19 IGLJUN). O-Exciting Racing Syndicate; B-A Beard (Vic); T-Francis Lui Kin-wai; J-Zac Purton; HK$1,200,000.
Margins: 1 1/4, 1HF, 1. Odds: 10-1, 21-1, 3-1.
Also Ran: Cordyceps Six (Aus), Galaxy Witness (Aus), Sword Point (Aus), Keefy (Aus), (DH) Beautyverse (NZ), (DH) Sweet Encounter (NZ), La City Blanche (Arg), Bon’s A Pearla (Aus), Viva Chaleur (Fr), Flagship Warrior (Aus), Ivy League (Ire). Click for the HKJC.com chart, PPs and sectional timing.

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