where the horse is always the hero
Article Item
Posted 2021-09-01 06:52:18  
Golden Sixty ‘healthy and happy ahead of seasonal return, Japan an option

Trainer Francis Lui indicated his pleasure with Golden Sixty as he eyes a seasonal return with Hong Kong’s superstar galloper, plotting further riches at home and abroad with the four-time G1 winner and earner of HK$77.92 million.


“He’s healthy and happy, we’re building him up slowly,” Lui said.


Targeting the HK$100 million LONGINES Hong Kong International Races on 12 December, Lui is also remaining optimistic of campaigning the six-year-old abroad, highlighting the 2022 G1 Yasuda Kinen (1600m) at Tokyo as a possible option.


“The target of course is the Hong Kong International Races, so we’ll start him off in the Group races because he gets too much weight in Handicaps, carrying top weight - that’s the plan but we’ll see how he is.


“I think the only race we can think about overseas is in Japan, the Yasuda Kinen, but it all depends the COVID-19 situation, we’ll see whether it is under control or not,” Lui said.


Golden Sixty’s domination of last season’s Champion Awards saw him named Horse of the Year, Champion Miler, Champion Middle-Distance Horse and Most Popular Horse of the Year.


“It’s Japan if we go overseas, otherwise we will stay in Hong Kong,” Lui said.


Unbeaten his past two seasons, the son of Medaglia d’Oro’s 14-win streak has him within touching distance of Silent Witness’ Hong Kong record of 17 consecutive victories.


“We’ll keep him at the mile and we’ll see how he reacts, later on if he is showing it then we can step him up to 2000 metres again,” Lui said.


Four consecutive G1 triumphs in the 2020 LONGINES Hong Kong Mile, 2021 Stewards’ Cup (1600m), Citi Hong Kong Gold Cup (2000m) and FWD Champions Mile boosted his unblemished run as he bossed Hong Kong’s best over both a mile and 10-furlongs last term.


Rolling off the back of consecutive 60-plus winning seasons, Francis Lui ponders whether he will once again be able to maintain the pace that he has set his past two campaigns with 63 (2019/20) and 61 (2020/21) wins.


“I would say we will struggle this season, we have had two seasons over 60 wins and all of the horse’s ratings are quite high now, even with some moving on, the young horses have to catch up - they need time to develop,” Lui explained.


“I am expecting a lower number this year, maybe, but fingers crossed,” he added.


Looking ahead to Sunday’s (5 September) season-opening fixture at Sha Tin, Lui has the highly talented Lucky Patch (128lb) engaged for the Class 1 HKSAR Chief Executive’s Cup (1200m).


“He’s good, I think he will improve, a few races last season he just had bad luck having drawn wide, but he’s such an honest horse he always jumps to the front and he fights on,” Lui said.


The El Roca gelding is a three-time winner in Hong Kong, which includes a tidy two and a quarter length Class 1 triumph at the back-end of last term in the Hong Kong Racehorse Owners Association Trophy Handicap (1200m).


“He can show a good kick with the right run,” the handler said.


The five-year-old stepped up for the first two legs of last season’s Four-Year-Old Classic Series, finishing outside of the placings in each run.


Lui isn’t ruling out a chance at running the bay in the 2021 G1 LONGINES Hong Kong Sprint (1200m), should his progress and rating improve.


“It all depends on how he improves but we could look at the Hong Kong International Races, that is, if he can improve,” Lui said.


Apprentice Jerry Chau is in the plate for the second time after guiding Lucky Patch to that end-of-season Class 1 victory in July; the young gun takes five pounds off his allotted weight and the duo will depart from gate 10 against 12 rivals. 

Email link to a friend | Printable Version
  • Hong Kong
    Displaying 10 ResultsSee All
    golden sixty extends winning sequence to 15 with g2 jockey club mile success2021-11-21

    Golden Sixty’s rehearsal for next month’s G1 LONGINES Hong Kong Mile (1600m) went accord...

    View | Add Comment
    moore headlines hong kong jockeys international 2021-11-21

    Ryan Moore headlines star-studded LONGINES IJC line-up including James McDonald and Yuga Kawada &nb...

    View | Add Comment
    chad schofield to leave hong kong 2021-11-21

    As a young twenty-year-old fresh out of his apprenticeship Chad Schofield packed his bags and headed...

    View | Add Comment
    hong kong beckons for hewitson 2021-10-26

    Lyle Hewitson has once again been licensed to ride in Hong Kong. The impressive young jock had a dis...

    View | Add Comment
    purton dominates, ferraris has another winner 2021-09-22

    Extending strong starts to the season, Zac Purton and David Hayes again combined in decisive fashion...

    View | Add Comment
    shum tops in hong kong 2021-09-19

    Danny Shum hopes to maintain a blistering start to the 2021/22 season, ultimately hopeful of a first...

    View | Add Comment
    luke ferraris breaks through in hong kong2021-09-15

    Justifying generous advance notices, Luke Ferraris savoured maiden Hong Kong success in the best pos...

    View | Add Comment
    record opening for hong kong 2021-09-05

    David Hayes has identified the HK$24 million LONGINES Hong Kong Sprint (1200m) on 12 December as Nab...

    View | Add Comment
    hong kong's record prize money increase includes group races2021-07-16

    Hong Kong racing will offer record prize money of HK$1.46 billion for the 2021/22 season with the fo...

    View | Add Comment
    golden sixty wins horse of the year2021-07-13

    Golden Sixty’s outstanding exploits during the 2020/21 season earned the multiple Group 1 vict...

    View | Add Comment