Golden Sixty’s (Medaglia d’Oro) outstanding exploits during the 2020/21 season earned the multiple Group One victor the Hong Kong Horse of the Year award at a special presentation function held at Happy Valley Clubhouse on Tuesday.
The Francis Lui-trained five-year-old was also named Champion Miler and Champion Middle-Distance Horse. In addition, the son of Medaglia d’Oro (El Prado) also secured the bulk of the public vote to claim the Most Popular Horse title for the second consecutive year.
The 2019/20 season’s Champion Four-Year-Old showed further improvement this term, with a perfect record of seven wins from seven starts, with the last four wins all at Group One level. Since September 2019, he has maintained an unbeaten run of 14 and he is the first horse to capture the Hong Kong Mile (Gr 1, 1600m), Stewards’ Cup (Gr 1, 1600m), Hong Kong Gold Cup (Gr 1, 2000m) and Champions Mile (Gr 1, 1600m) in the same season, highlighting his versatility and brilliance.
Golden Sixty is the fourth horse in Hong Kong racing history after Good Ba Ba (Lear Fan), Able Friend (Shamardal) and Beauty Generation (Road To Rock) to win the Horse of the Year title in the same season as winning both the Hong Kong Mile and Champions Mile. In addition to his four Group One wins, Golden Sixty also took the Jockey Club Mile (Gr 2, 1600m), Sha Tin Trophy (Gr 2, 1600m) and the Celebration Cup (Gr 3, 1400m).
Hot King Prawn (Denman) was named the season’s Champion Sprinter. The John Size-trained six-year-old opened his Group One winning account in the Centenary Sprint Cup (Gr 1, 1200m) in January this year. The Denman (Lonhro) gelding was a steady performer throughout the season, finishing out of money only once in his five starts since last October. He also won the Jockey Club Sprint (Gr 2, 1200m) last November.
Panfield (Lookin At Lucky) was crowned Champion Stayer. The Tony Millard-trained Chilean import was already a Group One victor prior to his arrival in Hong Kong. After opening his Hong Kong winning account in a Class 2 event over 2000m, the Lookin At Lucky (Smart Strike) colt ran a gallant third behind Sky Darci (Darci Brahma) in the Hong Kong Derby (HKGr 1, 2000m). He then achieved a career-peak when defeating older rivals, including Exultant (Teofilo), in the Champions & Chater Cup (Gr 1, 2400m) in May.
Sky Darci was the deserving winner of the Four-Year-Old Champion award. The Caspar Fownes-trained galloper won five races this season, including the Hong Kong Derby, the final leg of the Four-Year-Old Classic Series and the Lion Rock Trophy (Gr 3, 1600m). In his final start of the season, he also finished a creditable second behind stablemate Sky Field (Deep Field) in another Group Three race, the Premier Cup (Gr 3, 1400m).
Fantastic Treasure (Written Tycoon) was named the season’s Champion Griffin after remaining unbeaten with five wins from five starts in his rookie season in Hong Kong. The David Hayes-trained three-year-old achieved his career highlight to date in a Class 2 1400m contest at Sha Tin, defeating seasoned gallopers to achieve a rating of 94.
The John Size-trained Courier Wonder (Sacred Falls) was named the season’s Most Improved Horse. After starting the campaign on a rating of 52, the Sacred Falls (O’Reilly) gelding soared 55 points to a mark of 107 after remaining unbeaten with five wins from five starts.
Caspar Fownes was honoured with the Champion Trainer title. The battle for the championship was settled before the season finale and Fownes was most deserving of his fourth title, having led for the majority of the season before repelling a strong charge from 11-time champion, John Size.
Joao Moreira was crowned Champion Jockey for a fourth time. The Brazilian rider had a fantastic season of achievements, including becoming only the third jockey in history to notch 1000 winners in Hong Kong. He also won the public vote to earn the Most Popular Jockey of the Year accolade.
Former Hong Kong Champions Beauty Generation and Exultant were presented with the Lifetime Achievement Awards for their great contributions to Hong Kong racing.
The winners for the 2020/21 season are listed as follows:-
|Horse of the Year||Golden Sixty||Stanley Chan Ka Leung||Francis Lui|
|Champion Trainer||Caspar Fownes|
|Champion Jockey||Joao Moreira|
|Champion Four-Year-Old||Sky Darci||Jessica Kwan Mun Hang||Caspar Fownes|
|Champion Sprinter||Hot King Prawn||Lau Sak Hong||John Size|
|Champion Miler||Golden Sixty||Stanley Chan Ka Leung||Francis Lui|
|Champion Middle-Distance Horse||Golden Sixty||Stanley Chan Ka Leung||Francis Lui|
|Champion Stayer||Panfield||Yue Yun Hing||Tony Millard|
|Champion Griffin||Fantastic Treasure||Ken Leung Woon Kin & Leung Kwun||David Hayes|
|Most Improved Horse||Courier Wonder||Mr & Mrs Chadwick Mok Cham Hung||John Size|
|Most Popular Horse of the Year||Golden Sixty||Stanley Chan Ka Leung||Francis Lui|
|Most Popular Jockey of the Year||Joao Moreira|
|Lifetime Achievement Award||Beauty Generation||Patrick Kwok Ho Chuen||John Moore / David Hayes|
|Lifetime Achievement Award||Exultant||Eddie Wong Ming Chak & Wong Leung Sau Hing||Tony Cruz|
|Most Admired Overseas Horse||Almond Eye|