Golden Sixty oozed class as he set himself up for next month’s Hong Kong Mile with a brilliant performance in the Jockey Club Mile at Sha Tin on Sunday.
Taking his winning streak to 10 – and 13 from 14 career starts – the Francis Lui-trained five-year-old was long odds-on and duly looked better than ever in dismissing Ka Ying Star and Southern Legend in the hands of regular pilot Vincent Ho.
Stiffer international competition will await in the Group One showpiece on December 13 – but confidence is rightly soaring in the Golden Sixty camp.
Ho said: “He felt really good and sprinted home really well. The main goal was to settle him as normal and to relax him and he hit the line strongly. He will always produce a really good last quarter. I was happy with how he raced, he’s getting quieter and he knows what’s going on now.
“He’s more mentally mature and he’s a really professional horse now. He’s getting quieter behind the gate, just looking around, taking it in. I just wanted to get him settled first of all, I knew there’d be some pace on which will suit him.
“Actually I think at the moment he’s one of the best horses in Hong Kong. That’s for sure. He’ll be competing at Group One (level) now and hopefully we will be winning next month. That was our main goal and main target from last season and these three races have been really good prep (preparation) for him.
“He’s got stronger each race and I’m really happy with how those races panned out for him.”
Ho added: “I’ve never been in a Formula One car but I feel like riding him it’s probably similar. He’s a once in a lifetime horse for me.
“Lots of jockeys dream of having a horse like this and I’m extremely grateful to Mr Lui and the owner Mr Chan who have supported me and trusted me and kept me on. The whole stable, whole team feel really lucky.”
Lui – who confirmed the intention to go for the Mile next month despite his budding superstar holding an entry in the Hong Kong Cup – said: “I felt nervous before the race but, of course, passed the winning post everything was all right. I feel very happy that the horse can perform so well.
“You can see he’s more relaxed and more mature now. At the moment he looks like a champion, but we’ll see what form the international horses bring.”