Golden Sixty extends unbeaten streak
Golden Sixty extended his unbeaten run to 13 straight wins, claiming the Group 1 Citi Hong Kong Gold Cup over 2,000m at Sha Tin on Sunday.
But Hong Kong's highest-rated horse was forced to scramble to add a third consecutive Group 1 to his glittering record, which now stands at 16 wins from 17 starts. He is just four shy of Silent Witness' record 17 consecutive wins.
Dropped to his customary position at the rear of the field, the Medaglia d'Oro gelding began his surge in the straight.
But the challenge from Furore on the inside required jockey Vincent Ho to call on everything that Golden Sixty could give and it proved just enough to win in 2min 0.25sec.
The short-head margin was his smallest.
"I was quite confident that I would stay ahead of them but we fought hard. It wasn't easy, it was a bit unexpected to be that close," said Ho.
"I was just worried about the horse to the inside of him because Golden Sixty laid in a bit, he would have won easier if he didn't do that. Once he went past Exultant, he wanted to lay in. It made it difficult for me, but it's still a victory."
It was the first Gold Cup triumph for Ho and trainer Francis Lui.
"I think you can't really change the horse's character. When he passed the third horse (Exultant), Golden Sixty thinks he has finished the job. But there's another horse on the inside," said Lui.
The 131-rater is now only two wins shy of Beauty Generation's single-season record of eight. He has the first two legs of Hong Kong's Triple Crown in the bag, after claiming last month's Group 1 Stewards' Cup over 1,600m.
"I will think about the third leg of the Triple Crown, we also have a race in April in mind," said Lui, referencing FWD Champions Day.
The third and final leg of the Triple Crown is the Group 1 Standard Chartered Champions & Chater Cup over 2,400m on May 23. - HKJC