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Golden Sixty’s record-breaking performance during the 2021/22 racing season saw Hong Kong’s champion earn consecutive Horse of the Year titles at a special presentation held at the Hong Kong Jockey Club’s Happy Valley Clubhouse tonight (Friday, 15 July).
The Francis Lui-trained six-year-old's efforts also returned back-to-back Champion Miler titles and secured the bulk of the public vote as Hong Kong's Most Popular Horse for a third year in a row.
After winning the G2 BOCHK Private Wealth Jockey Club Mile (1600m) in his seasonal return, the son of Medaglia d'Oro soared to new heights soon after with the successful defence of his G1 LONGINES Hong Kong Mile (1600m) crown – a result which saw him earn recognition as the world's joint-top miler at the year-end LONGINES World's Best Racehorse Rankings.
Though he suffered a pair of rare defeats in his following two outings as he failed to reach Silent Witness' record of 17 consecutive wins in Hong Kong, he soon recaptured his winning groove in the G2 Chairman's Trophy (1600m) before closing the season in emphatic style by landing the G1 FWD Champions Mile (1600m) – the 21st win of his career and second win in the race in as many years.
Victory on FWD Champions Day saw Golden Sixty overtake Beauty Generation as Hong Kong's highest prize money earner in history with stakes of HK$113,400,600.
Last term, Golden Sixty became the fourth horse in Hong Kong racing history after Good Ba Ba , Able Friend and Beauty Generation to win the Horse of the Year title in the same season as both the LONGINES Hong Kong Mile and FWD Champions Mile, however, like Beauty Generation, Golden Sixty does so for the second consecutive year.
Danny Shum-trained Romantic Warrior made history this season as the first graduate of the Hong Kong International Sale to snare the HK$24 million BMW Hong Kong Derby (2000m) with a dramatic victory over California Spangle.
The son of Acclamation then took it up a notch when he thrashed a group of older rivals in the G1 FWD QEII Cup (2000m) to join Werther (2016), Designs On Rome (2014), Ambitious Dragon (2011) and Vengeance Of Rain (2005) as victors of the Hong Kong Derby-QEII Cup double in the same season.
He also took top honours in the Hong Kong Classic Mile (1600m) and, as such, he is a deserving recipient of both the Champion Middle-Distance Horse and Champion Four-Year-Old awards. In addition, he was also named the season's Most Improved Horse after soaring 70 points to a career-high rating of 122 with seven wins from eight starts in just six months.
Wellington was named this season's Champion Sprinter after reeling off a hat-trick of wins at his final three runs, including a pair of impressive Group 1 victories in the G1 Queen's Silver Jubilee Cup (1400m) and G1 Chairman's Sprint Prize (1200m) on FWD Champions Day. The All Too Hard speedster boasts earnings of HK$40,056,190 and an impressive record in Hong Kong with 10 wins and one second from 16 starts since January, 2020.
Russian Emperor 's emergence as the kingpin of Hong Kong's staying division was recognised this evening with a first title as Champion Stayer of Hong Kong. Trained by Douglas Whyte, the son of Galileo's development persisted this term, noticeably with victory in the G1 Citi Hong Kong Gold Cup (2000m) under challenging circumstances on yielding ground before his domineering last-to-first win in the G1 Standard Chartered Champions & Chater Cup (2400m).
Lucky Sweynesse 's rapid rise didn't go unnoticed as Manfred Man's gifted youngster capped a remarkable first season as Champion Griffin of Hong Kong. Achieving a career highlight with victory in Class 2, the son of Sweynesse shot up 36 rating points and now sits on a career-high figure of 88, ahead of his engagement at Sha Tin tomorrow (Saturday, 16 July).
Zac Purton was recognised as the season's Most Popular Jockey via a public vote.
This season's Champion Jockey, Champion Trainer and the winner of the Tony Cruz Award for the season's leading homegrown rider will be announced at the conclusion of Saturday's (16 July) 88th and final fixture this season at Sha Tin.
The winners for the 2021/22 season are listed as follows:
|Horse of the Year||Golden Sixty||Stanley Chan Ka Leung||Francis Lui|
|Champion Four-Year-Old||Romantic Warrior||Peter Lau Pak Fai||Danny Shum|
|Champion Sprinter||Wellington||Mr & Mrs Michael Cheng Wing On and Jeffrey Cheng Man Cheong||Richard Gibson|
|Champion Miler||Golden Sixty||Stanley Chan Ka Leung||Francis Lui|
|Champion Middle-Distance Horse||Romantic Warrior||Peter Lau Pak Fai||Danny Shum|
|Champion Stayer||Russian Emperor||Mike Cheung Shun Ching||Douglas Whyte|
|Champion Griffin||Lucky Sweynesse||Cheng Ming Leung, Cheng Yu Tung, Cheng Mei Mei & Cheng Yu Wai||Manfred Man|
|Most Improved Horse||Romantic Warrior||Peter Lau Pak Fai||Danny Shum|
|Most Popular Horse of the Year||Golden Sixty||Stanley Chan Ka Leung||Francis Lui|
|Most Popular Jockey of the Year||Zac Purton|
Attachment: Past Champion Awards winners