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Golden Sixty gallops, Whyte unveils debutant at Happy Valley

March 6, 2024 at 4:33:36 AM

Golden Sixty completed his most significant piece of trackwork for a long time this morning (Tuesday, 5 March) at Sha Tin as trainer Francis Lui hopes for a fairytale finish to his charge’s career in next month’s HK$22 million G1 FWD Champions Mile (1600m).

Golden Sixty completed his most significant piece of trackwork for a long time this morning (Tuesday, 5 March) at Sha Tin as trainer Francis Lui hopes for a fairytale finish to his charge’s career in next month’s HK$22 million G1 FWD Champions Mile (1600m).

“He galloped this morning. It was his first gallop, I think he’s ok – I saw him pass around,” Lui said. “He’s the same at home – a happy horse.”

Victorious in the past three editions of the race, Golden Sixty suffered a left fore leg injury at the start of this year, ruling him out of a HK$13 million G1 Stewards’ Cup (1600m) tilt in January and threatening the eight-year-old’s future.

Lui is taking a careful approach with Golden Sixty, who was limited to light work before breezing through today’s gallop under the cover of darkness at Sha Tin.

“It’s hard to tell and I will let the horse tell me,” Lui said.

Second in Sunday’s (3 March) HK$13 million Hong Kong Classic Cup (1800m), Chancheng Glory will press for HK$26 million BMW Hong Kong Derby (2000m) glory on 24 March along with stablemate Speed Dragon.

“I think the track bias and as a frontrunner (Chancheng Glory), it suits him and he ran well. Both horses are in good form and I think Chancheng Glory can handle the 2000 metres – he has a big stride. He fights, too,” Lui said.

Rolling forward to take up the running, Chancheng Glory was caught late by Helios Express, who scored by a short head over the American-bred son of Mor Spirit.

Speed Dragon finished ninth as a 16/1 chance in the contest, while Chancheng Glory was sent around at odds of 51/1.

Douglas Whyte will saddle debutant Ace Power at Happy Valley tomorrow night (Wednesday, 6 March) in the Class 4 Kwoon Chung Inclusive & Accessible Service Handicap (1200m) with jockey Harry Bentley up.

“He’s a nice horse. He does everything professionally and he hasn’t put a foot wrong since the day he stepped into my yard. He’s ready for his first race, he’s going to need this run – he needs the experience and he hasn’t been wound up,” Whyte said.

The three-year-old finished third in a recent barrier trial over the course and distance.

“He’s had enough trials and he’s forward enough to go to the races. Fortunately, he has a gate that’s going to help him but he’s a thorough professional and he does everything right,” Whyte said.

Ace Power has drawn gate two amongst the field of 12 set for the HK$1.17 million test.

“He’s done everything professionally and he is still raw. You’ve seen that in his trials and that’s the reason he takes a bit of time to wind up, but when he gets his momentum going and does wind up then he moves nicely,” the trainer said.

Whyte remains pleased with Russian Emperor after his return from Qatar.

“He’s come back good. He’s in quarantine at the minute and I thought he ran a terrific race, it was three seconds slower than last year and he came from last – he ran home and earnt prize money,” Whyte said.

Russian Emperor galloped on the grass this morning.

Wednesday’s (6 March) nine-race fixture at Happy Valley kicks off with the Class 5 Kwoon Chung Motors Handicap (1200m).

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