Golden Sixty primed to excel as Vincent Ho anticipates a landmark FWD Champions Day meeting
April 23, 2021, 8:56:19 AM
Vincent Ho, armed with an outstanding arsenal of G1 mounts, is seeking excellence aboard Golden Sixty at Sha Tin on Sunday (25 April) as the Hong Kong star bids for a 14th consecutive victory in the HK$20 million G1 FWD Champions Mile (1600m) against just five rivals.
Golden Sixty, who has been unbeaten since a 1400m Class 3 loss on 7 July 2019, will return to the track this weekend in search of a 17th win overall and a fourth consecutive G1 victory.
Ho is wary of tactical ambush in a small field that includes last year's FWD Champions Mile winner Southern Legend, Ka Ying Star, Mighty Giant, More Than This, and Healthy Happy, who partnered the 2020 BMW Hong Kong Derby (2000m) winner in light work at Sha Tin on Friday (23 April).
“With less riders, it's less complicated, but you never underestimate the difficulty. “You still have to travel perfectly,” Ho said of the upcoming challenge.
“He'll relax anywhere he feels most at ease in the run. There are a couple of horses that I believe will move forward, but I don't believe the pace will be fast.
“It might not be a typical race, but we will adapt to whatever happens.”
Ho typically saves Golden Sixty for a ferocious finish, sometimes cracking 22 seconds for the final 400m.
Ho reported that Francis Lui's champion was in good shape after this morning's (Friday, 23 April) breeze up.
“I'm happy. “I only had an easy six-furlong gallop on him this morning, and all is fine,” Ho said. “There is no need to be concerned about him in any way.
“He is in a strong mood.”
Ho will also compete in the HK$18 million G1 Chairman's Sprint Prize with Stronger for Douglas Whyte (1200m).
Stronger was narrowly defeated by longshot Amazing Star in the G2 Sprint Cup (1200m) at Sha Tin on 5 April, but he stamped his credentials by charging from the ruck to finish second by a short head.
Based on that result, Ho is optimistic about the Not A Single Doubt colt's chances.
“Stronger is doing well, and Douglas is pleased,” Ho said. “The barrier draw of eight is favorable, and we can have a decent run from there.”
Whyte, who is pursuing his first G1 as a trainer after a stellar riding career, wants Stronger to deliver another outstanding result.
“He's in good spirits; he's a simple horse. He's a lovely horse to be around and deal with. He's the average sprinter. “All you have to do is remind him to do it slowly because he needs to do it quickly,” Whyte said.
“He has maturity on his side; he's just a young (four-year-old) horse with a lot of talent.
“Vincent should be able to get him somewhere comfortable from the exit, and his biggest advantage is to take the last shot at them.
“He has always given me the impression that he is a proper horse. He just loses a little height – if he was a hand taller, he would have been a serious horse – but he can handle himself well.
“He has grown both intellectually and physically.
“This is what it all boils down to. This Group 1 races determine our success or failure as jockeys and trainers.”
Ho, who won the FWD Champions Mile aboard Southern Legend for Caspar Fownes last year, is hoping to make a good showing aboard Loves Only You in the G1 FWD QEII Cup (2000m).
“Only Love” You've fit in very well, and if she keeps her form from Dubai, I believe she'll be very, very competitive,” Ho said of the Japanese raider.
“It's a fantastic moment, so seize it.”