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Golden Sixty trials ahead of FWD Champions Day return

By: Declan Schuster   April 2 , 2024
   

Golden Sixty took a crucial step towards his planned return in the HK$22 million G1 FWD Champions Mile (1600m) with a routine barrier trial this morning (Tuesday, 2 April).



Vincent Ho is also planning a return to competition following injuries and was in the plate at Sha Tin as Hong Kong`s champion readies for his second appearance this season in a race he has already won three times (2021, 2022 & 2023) on FWD Champions Day (Sunday, 28 April).



“He felt good. He`s a little bit heavy still but we still have some time. I`m happy with how he is after a long break. He always feels good, he gave me a good response. I eased off over the last 100 (metres) or so because it was his first trial back – we`ll pick up after this and see,” Ho said.



Golden Sixty is Hong Kong`s only 10-time Group 1 winner, highest earner in Hong Kong racing history (HK$165.85 million) and only 26-time winner. His sole start this term returned victory in December`s HK$32 million G1 LONGINES Hong Kong Mile (1600m).



Settled at the tail of the field early, Golden Sixty lengthened in the home straight as the widest runner in this morning`s trial. He finished in third position.



“He will definitely improve from that. He`s always a bit laidback, especially across recent years and in his trials he shows laziness, even in turf gallops – that`s him,” Ho said.



The eight-year-old Medaglia d`Oro gelding clocked 1m 10.49s for his hit-out on the dirt over 1200m. He suffered a left fore leg injury which resulted in his absence across the past four months.



Ho is a four-time winner of the FWD Champions Mile, taking victory the previous three times aboard Golden Sixty and once atop Southern Legend (2020).



Trained by Francis Lui, Golden Sixty is a winner over distances ranging from 1200m-2000m. He swept the 2020 Four-Year-Old Classic Series with victories in the Hong Kong Classic Mile (1600m), Hong Kong Classic Cup (1800m) and BMW Hong Kong Derby (2000m).



“We`ll have some gallops next week and then one more trial, turf gallops and then ready for the race,” Ho said. “He never feels like an eight-year-old. He feels even better, like he`s improving every year with age as he gets older.”



Ho is eyeing a return to race riding at Happy Valley on Wednesday, 10 April. He was sidelined following a fall on 24 January at Sha Tin.



 
 
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