where the horse is always the hero
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Posted 2023-01-17 04:52:59  
Jockey Ho keeps Faith with Star Golden Sixty

Vincent Ho is holding firm in his belief Golden Sixty will be able to bounce back in Sunday week’s (29 January) HK$12 million G1 Stewards’ Cup (1600m) when Hong Kong’s champion lines up against both Romantic Warrior and California Spangle.


Entries for the Stewards’ Cup indicate the race will be a blockbuster renewal, supported by the likes of Waikuku – last year’s winner – as well as Beauty Joy, Panfield and Russian Emperor, rounding out a tight group of seven expected to go to post at Sha Tin.


Both Romantic Warrior and California Spangle take their places following a pair of Group 1 wins at the 2022 LONGINES Hong Kong International Races, while Golden Sixty – now a seven-year-old – heads into the contest following defeat and potentially as the race’s underdog.


“They’re five and they’re young, they should be at their prime those two horses, but we’re mentally more mature and we have all of the experience and physically he has still got it there, I believe we can do it,” Ho said.


Both Golden Sixty and California Spangle stepped out for a barrier trial at Sha Tin this morning (17 January) over 1200m on dirt, with California Spangle leading his older rival home in similar fashion to his 2022 G1 LONGINES Hong Kong Mile (1600m) victory.


“I’m looking forward to it, two young and upcoming very good horses and against the more mature guy, so I’m very much looking forward to it,” Ho said.


The time of the gallop set by California Spangle – who made all – was 1m 09.85s with Beauty Tycoon crossing the line between the star pair in third position.


“He (Golden Sixty) trialled very well, he had only been doing light work and cruising all of the time after last month, so this trial got him to work a little bit for the big race,” Ho said. “He jumped very well, I feel (his) confidence in the straight and he picked up very well, I’m very happy with him.”


The two-time Hong Kong Horse of the Year (2020/21 & 2021/22) has only suffered three defeats across his last 22 runs, failing to reel in California Spangle last time after overhauling his younger adversary in a jaw-dropping 2022 G2 BOCHK Private Wealth Jockey Club Mile (1600m) – the race prior.  

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