Golden Sixty climbs world rankings as Hong Kong’s overall representation slips

Francis Lui’s superstar is rated the joint-best miler in the world but the jurisdiction has just 15 gallopers on the list



His 16-race winning streak may have ended at Sha Tin on Sunday, but Golden Sixty is officially the joint-best miler in the world, according to the 2021 Longines World’s Best Racehorse Rankings released on Tuesday.


While Hong Kong’s representation in the rankings again decreased, the city’s superstar is now the equal sixth-best racehorse in the world, up from equal 10th.


With an international rating of 125 based on his performance in December’s Hong Kong Mile, Golden Sixty rose to the top of the mile division after being rated joint-third best in 2020.


Francis Lui Kin-wai’s stable star shares top mile billing with Baaeed, who won the Group One Queen Elizabeth II stakes, and Group One Lockinge Stakes winner Palace Pier, while Torquator Tasso joins the trio on the mark.


While Golden Sixty climbed the rankings, the rest of Hong Kong’s thoroughbreds have not fared quite so well, with only 15 horses trained in the jurisdiction making the list.


That number is two fewer than last year and down from a peak of 26 in 2016 on a list that was this year topped by Breeders’ Cup Classic winner Knicks Go on a rating of 129.


Exultant (120) heads the best of the rest after performing respectably in 2021 before retiring as a five-time Group One winner and he is followed by More Than This (118), Southern Legend (118) and Waikuku (118).


“Golden Sixty has proven time and time again that he is an elite talent, worthy of status among the world’s best,” Jockey Club chief executive Winfried Engelbrecht-Bresges said.


“I would like to congratulate owner Stanley Chan [Ka-leung] for his horse’s great achievement, which is a testament to Hong Kong and its racing – with a pool of 1,300 horses and no breeding industry to rely on.


“Looking further ahead, I am confident that with further incentives, including enhancements to the club’s successful high achievement bonus scheme [and] continued increases in prize money for our elite races – coupled with the emergence of an exciting four-year-old crop – there is great cause for optimism about the continued excellence of Hong Kong racing.”


Eight of Hong Kong’s 12 top-level contests featured in the Longines World’s Top 100 Group One Races – down from nine last year – with six of the eight featuring in the top 50.


Officially the best race held in the city in 2021 was the QE II Cup (2,000m) on FWD Champions Day in April, which was won by Japanese raider Loves Only You and earned a rating of 120.


The Hong Kong Mile and Stewards’ Cup both hit 119.5, the Hong Kong Gold Cup scored 119.25, the Hong Kong Cup rated 118.75 and the Hong Kong Vase earned 118.50.


Each Group One is ranked according to an average rating of the first four placed horses in that race, with the Prix de l’Arc de Triomph coming out on top on a mark of 124.75.


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