Golden Sixty impresses Vincent Ho ahead of return: ‘Everyone should still believe in him’

golden sixty impresses vincent ho ahead of return: ‘everyone should still believe in him’

Vincent Ho Chak-yiu hopes Golden Sixty can pick up where he left off in April after the superstar impressed in his Group One Longines Hong Kong Mile tune up alongside Romantic Warrior on Tuesday morning.

Ahead of Golden Sixty’s highly anticipated reappearance on December 10, Ho was pleased to see the eight-year-old progressing as he followed Romantic Warrior and Helene Feeling home in a 1,600m turf trial at Sha Tin.

“He felt good. They went a bit slow and someone jumped the corner, which was a bit awkward, but apart from that I was happy,” Ho said. “In the straight, I just let him cruise along, then asked for a little bit of effort in the last 200m, and he responded well.”

A winner on 25 of his 29 racecourse outings – nine at Group One level – Golden Sixty will aim to add a third Hong Kong Mile to his illustrious CV when he resumes at Sha Tin’s marquee meeting next month.

A perfect five out of five from his first-up efforts, Golden Sixty will have to defy a 224-day absence in his bid to become only the third eight-year-old to win at the Hong Kong International Races (HKIR).

“I’m looking forward to bringing Golden Sixty out in December,” Ho said. “He enjoys racing and loves the crowds. Even though he is eight, we don’t race him much in the season. He is nice and fresh and everyone should still believe in him.”

Sitting prominently throughout Tuesday’s heat, Golden Sixty hit the line with plenty of conviction to finish third, half a length behind Cox Plate hero Romantic Warrior.

“To have something to chase in a trial is good for him. If he was alone in front, he would just relax”, Ho said. “He’s come on a bit and he should come on more after this. I’m happy with his progress and he responded very well.”

Romantic Warrior, second to Golden Sixty in last season’s Group One Stewards’ Cup (1,600m) and Group One Gold Cup (2,000m), made his first trial appearance since his return from Melbourne.

Limbering up under James McDonald ahead of their Group One Hong Kong Cup (2,000m) defence, the five-year-old showed his customary turn of foot to edge clear in the closing stages.

“He’s come back from Australia and quarantined, so this was his first trial after that,” trainer Danny Shum Chap-shing said. “It was fast work and James was happy with him.”

Among Shum’s other HKIR representatives is Courier Wonder, who had his first trial of the season on the Sha Tin dirt over 1,200m.

A recent acquisition from John Size, the six-year-old was fourth in last year’s Group One Hong Kong Sprint (1,200m) and will make his seasonal reappearance in this year’s renewal.

“He’s been off for a while and, unfortunately, last time I entered him he got a fever,” Shum said. “He will go to the Hong Kong Sprint, but he’s still not 100 per cent yet. Hopefully, after this trial he’ll improve a little bit.”

Japan will launch a 14-strong attack on HKIR next month, and Shahryar stretched his legs at Sha Tin on Tuesday ahead of his Group One Hong Kong Vase (2,400m) assignment.

Last year’s Group One Dubai Sheema Classic (2,400m) victor was the first of the international contingent to arrive in Hong Kong, landing on November 22.

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