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Golden Sixty trials ahead of FWD Champions Day return

3 minute read

Golden Sixty took a crucial step towards his planned return in the HK$22 million G1 FWD Champions Mile (1600m) with a routine barrier trial this morning (Tuesday, 2 April).

Golden Sixty stretches out under Vincent Ho.
Golden Sixty stretches out under Vincent Ho. Picture: HKJC

Vincent Ho is also planning a return to competition following injuries and was in the plate at Sha Tin as Hong Kong's champion readies for his second appearance this season in a race he has already won three times (2021, 2022 & 2023) on FWD Champions Day (Sunday, 28 April).

"He felt good. He's a little bit heavy still but we still have some time. I'm happy with how he is after a long break. He always feels good, he gave me a good response. I eased off over the last 100 (metres) or so because it was his first trial back – we'll pick up after this and see," Ho said.

Golden Sixty  is Hong Kong's only 10-time Group 1 winner, highest earner in Hong Kong racing history (HK$165.85 million) and only 26-time winner. His sole start this term returned victory in December's HK$32 million G1 LONGINES Hong Kong Mile (1600m).

Settled at the tail of the field early, Golden Sixty lengthened in the home straight as the widest runner in this morning's trial. He finished in third position.

"He will definitely improve from that. He's always a bit laidback, especially across recent years and in his trials he shows laziness, even in turf gallops – that's him," Ho said.

The eight-year-old Medaglia d'Oro gelding clocked 1m 10.49s for his hit-out on the dirt over 1200m. He suffered a left fore leg injury which resulted in his absence across the past four months.

Ho is a four-time winner of the FWD Champions Mile, taking victory the previous three times aboard Golden Sixty and once atop Southern Legend (2020).

Trained by Francis Lui, Golden Sixty is a winner over distances ranging from 1200m-2000m. He swept the 2020 Four-Year-Old Classic Series with victories in the Hong Kong Classic Mile (1600m), Hong Kong Classic Cup (1800m) and BMW Hong Kong Derby (2000m).

"We'll have some gallops next week and then one more trial, turf gallops and then ready for the race," Ho said. "He never feels like an eight-year-old. He feels even better, like he's improving every year with age as he gets older."

Ho is eyeing a return to race riding at Happy Valley on Wednesday, 10 April. He was sidelined following a fall on 24 January at Sha Tin.

Hong Kong Jockey Club

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