Golden Sixty confirms dominance
There isn't much evidence still to be presented for the 2020 HK Derby with a month to go and Francis Lui-trained Golden Sixty did more to reinforce his claims to the race in his victorious Classic Cup lead-up.
Despite some minor drama in the lead-up after having a temperature spike and missing two gallops, Golden Sixty travelled better and seemingly more kindly than in previous starts and coped perfectly in his first attempt at 1800m.
Zac Purton on More Than This tried to steal a march on Golden Sixty and put him in a cage at the 400m but it wasn't enough. Vincent Ho was patient, waited until Champion's Way in front of him kicked for home and Golden Sixty's wicked acceleration sprung the lock.
He quickly passed More Than This and then reeled in Champion's Way and the Classic Mile trifecta repeated ahead of Enjoying staying on in fourth.
Beauty Legacy was in traffic most of the straight but again ruined his chances anyway by ferociously fighting his rider. While the winner swept away any suggestion he might not run 1800m, Beauty Legacy's manners only highlighted his huge distance issue going to the Derby.
Golden Sixty is a strong reminder of Floral Pegasus in 2007, who had had more racing - the Derby was start 17 - and deeper experience - he finished 7th in the HK Mile - before he won the Chinese Club Challenge Cup, Classic Mile and Classic Cup in a style even better than Golden Sixty and that made him a 1.5 Derby favourite.
He stayed ok in the Derby but not well enough, shooting clear before being outstayed by Vital King, whom he had relegated into 4th in the Classic Cup.
Amazing Beats outstayed the C2 2000m field in a bunched finish on Sunday and as well as the 4yos in this performed, they look the second group going to the Derby.
Joining that group in our ratings was former South African galloper Seattle Choice after his impressive 1400m victory in C3. He would need to pay a late entry but he still has time to run again in C2 and see if the payment for the Derby is justified.