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Posted 2023-07-14 15:37:43  
Golden Sixty claims Horse of the Year title at Hong Kong’s Champion Awards for third consecutive year

Golden Sixty’s record-breaking performance during the 2022/23 racing season saw Hong Kong’s champion earn the Horse of the Year title for a third consecutive year at a special presentation held at the Grand Ballroom of the Rosewood Hotel in Hong Kong tonight (Friday, 14 July).

As such, he becomes the first horse in the history of Hong Kong racing to annex three consecutive Horse of the Year crowns.

The Francis Lui-trained seven-year-old’s efforts this season also secured a third straight Champion Miler title with his string of outstanding performances in Group 1 mile events.

Golden Sixty had five starts this season, suffering the only defeat in the campaign when beaten by California Spangle in the G1 LONGINES Hong Kong Mile (1600m). The seven-year-old son of Medaglia d’Oro then scored a hat-trick of top-level wins, landing the Stewards’ Cup (1600m), Citi Hong Kong Gold Cup (2000m) and FWD Champions Mile (1600m), taking his overall record to 25 wins and three placings from 29 starts and extending his record prize money to HK$147.93 million.

He stands alone as Hong Kong’s most prolific Group 1 winner, eclipsing the feats of Beauty Generation by tallying an unmatched nine Group 1 wins after sealing a third FWD Champions Mile win in succession last April.

Golden Sixty’s impressive feats this year were reflected in the first edition of the 2023 LONGINES World’s Best Racehorse Rankings, in which he topped the list with an international rating of 125 after scoring a Group 1 double in the Stewards Cup and Citi Hong Kong Gold Cup. Currently, Golden Sixty and Lucky Sweynesse sit joint-third behind Equinox and Mostahdaf on an international rating of 125.

The Manfred Man-trained Lucky Sweynesse was named this season’s Champion Sprinter and Champion Four-Year-Old. The emerging youngster continued his advance from his 98 rating to becoming a three-time Group 1 winner this term, claiming each leg of Hong Kong’s HK$5 million Speed Series: G1 Centenary Sprint Cup (1200m), G1 Queen’s Silver Jubilee Cup (1400m) and G1 Chairman’s Sprint Prize (1200m). The Sweynesse gelding matched Beauty Generation’s record for the most wins in a single season when he ended the term in a high note by scoring for the eighth time in the G3 Sha Tin Vase (1200m).

Currently rated 131 locally, Lucky Sweynesse is the highest-rated four-year-old in Hong Kong.

The Danny Shum-trained Romantic Warrior has been crowned this season’s Champion Middle-Distance Horse for the second consecutive year by winning the two prominent 10 furlong features in Hong Kong, namely the G1 LONGINES Hong Kong Cup (2000m) and G1 FWD QEII Cup (2000m), beating overseas rivals on both occasions. In the LONGINES Hong Kong Cup, the son of Acclamation left a high-class global field trailing in his wake with a dominant performance and in April this year, he confirmed himself among the world’s elite with a commanding second straight success in the FWD QEII Cup.

A graduate of the 2021 Hong Kong International Sale as a HK$4.8 million purchase, Romantic Warrior is currently ranked joint-seventh in the LONGINES World’s Best Racehorse Rankings with the international rating of 123. His earnings are HK$84.36 million, which includes 10 wins from 14 starts.

The Douglas Whyte-trained Russian Emperor claimed back-to-back Champion Stayer of Hong Kong titles following his tremendous win in the QAT G1 H.H. The Amir Trophy (2400m) in Doha, Qatar. He is the only Hong Kong runner to score in an overseas race this term. Upon returning to Hong Kong, he claimed a second consecutive G1 Standard Chartered Champions & Chater Cup (2400m) in May.

The John Size-trained Howdeepisyourlove finished his debut season with four wins from 12 starts to be crowned Hong Kong’s Champion Griffin. The three-year-old has nine top-three finishes to his name and achieved a career highlight with victory in Class 2. Howdeepisyourlove shot up 44 points and now sits on a career-high rating of 96.

The John Size-trained Beauty Eternal is this season’s Most Improved Horse. After starting the campaign rated 52, the Starspangledbanner gelding soared 65 points to 117 after achieving seven wins, one second and two thirds from ten starts in his first season.

John Size was honoured with a record 12th Hong Kong Champion Trainer title. The battle for the championship was settled before the season finale, as Size successfully repelled a strong challenge from Francis Lui and Frankie Lor throughout the season to recapture the crown.

Zac Purton is now a six-time Hong Kong Champion Jockey. The Australian rider enjoyed another remarkable season of dominance, including breaking Joao Moreira’s single-season record of 170 wins. He also reached 1,600 career wins in Hong Kong. Purton and Douglas Whyte are the only jockeys in the history of Hong Kong racing to reach 1,600 wins.

Vincent Ho won the Tony Cruz Award as the season’s leading homegrown rider with a personal best 94 wins (as of 14 July).

This season’s Most Popular Jockey and Most Popular Horse will be presented at the conclusion of Sunday’s (16 July) 88th and final fixture this season at Sha Tin.

The winners for the 2022/23 season are listed as follows:

Horse of the Year

Golden Sixty

Stanley Chan Ka Leung

Francis Lui

Champion Trainer

John Size

Champion Jockey

Zac Purton

Champion Four-Year-Old

Lucky Sweynesse

Cheng Ming Leung, Cheng Yu Tung, Cheng Mei Mei & Cheng Yu Wai

Manfred Man

Champion Sprinter

Lucky Sweynesse

Cheng Ming Leung, Cheng Yu Tung, Cheng Mei Mei & Cheng Yu Wai

Manfred Man

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


Lo Profile Syndicate

John Size

Tony Cruz Award

Vincent Ho

Most Improved Horse

Beauty Eternal

Patrick Kwok Ho Chuen

John Size

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