Golden Sixty Makes History with Horse of the Year Treble
17 July 2023
Graduates of New Zealand Bloodstock’s Ready to Run Sale swept four categories in Hong Kong’s Champion Awards on Friday evening, including a slice of history for Horse of the Year Golden Sixty (Medaglia d’Oro).
It was an unprecedented third consecutive Horse of the Year title for the record-breaking racehorse, who has turned his $300,000 price tag at Karaka’s 2017 Ready to Run Sale into the highest prize-money haul in the history of Hong Kong racing – HK$147.9m (NZ$29.7m).
The winner of 25 of his 29 lifetime starts including nine at Group One level – the most Group One wins ever by a Hong Kong racehorse – Golden Sixty earned his historic third Horse of the Year crown with another exceptional season in 2022-23.
His five starts this season produced four victories, capturing the Group One Stewards’ Cup (1600m), Group One Hong Kong Gold Cup (2000m), Group One Champions Mile (1600m) and the Group Two Jockey Club Mile (1600m). His only defeat of the season was a second placing in the Group One Hong Kong Mile (1600m).
Trained by Francis Lui for owner Stanley Chan Ka Leung, Golden Sixty was also named Hong Kong’s Champion Miler. The spectacular seven-year-old currently sits in equal third position on the Longines World’s Best Racehorse Rankings.
The other two awards for Karaka graduates on Friday night went to the new superstar Lucky Sweynesse (NZ) (Sweynesse), who was crowned Champion Sprinter and Champion Four-Year-Old.
The Manfred Man-trained speedster was bought for $90,000 from the 2020 Ready to Run Sale, and his 17-start career has so far produced 13 wins and HK$51.1m in stakes (NZ$10.2m).
He lined up in 10 races this season, winning eight of them including all of his last six in succession. He became only the second horse to ever record eight wins in a Hong Kong season, joining fellow Karaka graduate Beauty Generation (NZ) (Road to Rock).
A desperately unlucky sixth in the Hong Kong Sprint (1200m) in his first attempt at Group One level, Lucky Sweynesse later claimed top-level honours with scintillating wins in the Group One Centenary Sprint Cup (1200m), Group One Queen’s Silver Jubilee Cup (1400m) and Group One Chairman’s Sprint Prize (1200m). Those three wins comprised Hong Kong’s HK$5m Speed Series, and Lucky Sweynesse became the first horse to win all three legs since the great Silent Witness (El Moxie) in 2005.
Lucky Sweynesse currently shares third position with Golden Sixty on the Longines World’s Best Racehorse Rankings.
Golden Sixty and Lucky Sweynesse’s spectacular feats have been a perfect illustration of the elite talent available at the Ready to Run Sale at Karaka every year. The 2023 edition of the world-renowned sale of two-year-olds will take place at the Karaka Sales Centre on 22 and 23 November, with Breeze Ups to be held at Te Rapa Racecourse on 16 and 17 October.
Photo: Michael Lee, Chairman of The Hong Kong Jockey Club, presents the Horse of the Year trophy to Golden Sixty’s owner Stanley Chan Ka Leung; the owner is accompanied by trainer Francis Lui and jockey Vincent Ho- HKJC