Golden Sixty Retains Hong Kong Horse of the Year Crown

18 July 2022

Golden Sixty claims 2021-22 Hong Kong Horse of the Year.

In a special ceremony at Happy Valley on Friday night, champion Karaka graduate Golden Sixty (Medaglia d’Oro) was crowned Hong Kong’s Horse of the Year for the second season in succession. 

The Francis Lui-trained gelding, who has turned his $300,000 purchase price at the 2017 Ready to Run Sale into more than HK$113m in stakes (NZ$23m), also collected his second Champion Miler award and was Hong Kong’s Most Popular Horse for the third time.

Golden Sixty began the season with a victory in the Group Two Jockey Club Mile (1600m) before successfully defending his title in the prestigious Group One Hong Kong Mile (1600m). By the end of 2021, he had been named the world’s joint top miler in the Longines World’s Best Racehorse Rankings.

Although his extraordinary 16-race winning streak was snapped by a pair of surprise defeats in January and February, the superstar racehorse bounced back to his brilliant best to close out the season with sparkling wins in the Group Two Champions Trophy (1600m) and Group One Champions Mile (1600m).

Golden Sixty has now had 24 starts for 21 wins and two placings, and this season saw him surpass the all-time Hong Kong prize-money record of HK$106m set by fellow Karaka graduate Beauty Generation (NZ) (Road to Rock) a couple of years earlier.

Golden Sixty was selected by Lui out of the Ready to Run Sale draft of Sam Beatson’s Riversley Park. He is raced by Stanley Chan Ka Leung.

Meanwhile, the Champion Griffin award went to the rising star Lucky Sweynesse (NZ) (Sweynesse), who was a $90,000 purchase from the 2020 Ready to Run Sale and has so far amassed over HK$6.8m (NZ$1.4m).

Trained by Manfred Man, Lucky Sweynesse has lined up in seven races to date and recorded five wins, a second and a third. His most recent victory came at Sha Tin on Saturday.

Lucky Sweynesse was offered in Woburn Farm’s draft at Karaka and was bought by Joe Barnes’ J & I Bloodstock. He is the second foal out of Listed-winning mare Madonna Mia (NZ) (Red Clubs).

Madonna Mia’s first foal, Lucky Sweynesse’s full-sister Signora Nera (NZ) (Sweynesse), is a three-race winner and placed in the Group One Queensland Oaks (2200m).

Lucky Sweynesse was initially trained by Shelley Hale at Cambridge, and he won a trial before relocating to Hong Kong and making a spectacular start to his racetrack career.