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Hong Kong International Races: Golden Sixty and Romantic Warrior provide home glory in Cup and Mile

Golden Sixty put in a career best in sprinting clear of his rivals in the Hong Kong Mile; later on the card, Romantic Warrior edged out Aidan O'Brien's Luxembourg in the Hong Kong Cup

Golden Sixty was at his devastating best in the Hong Kong Mile
Image: Golden Sixty was at his devastating best in the Hong Kong Mile

Local heroes dominated the Longines Hong Kong International Races, with Golden Sixty, Romantic Warrior and Lucky Sweynesse sending the Sha Tin crowd wild with delight.

Golden Sixty simply demolished his rivals in the Hong Kong Mile, winning this race for the third time and taking his tally of Group One triumphs to 10.

Francis Lui's eight-year-old was running for the first time since April but broke smartly from stall 14 and then settled nicely in midfield.

Vincent Ho was stalking the leaders entering the straight and when he asked the 27-20 favourite to quicken up, the response was immediate and devastating.

Golden Sixty powered four lengths clear at the furlong pole before being eased down to beat Voyage Bubble by a length and a half at the line.

"He's a monster," said Ho. "When I asked him for an effort, he lengthened like I can't believe. He's still got that turn of foot - it's crazy!

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"I got the wide cover I wanted and he never travelled keen with me, he was so relaxed all the way. Then, when I asked him for effort, he gave me 100 per cent.

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"It's madness. It's not easy to come here with a high level without any preparation, so it's amazing."

Romantic Warrior holds off Luxembourg

Romantic Warrior enjoyed a happy homecoming following his famous Cox Plate success in Australia but had to fight all the way to the line to hold off Aidan O'Brien's Luxembourg in the Hong Kong Cup.

James McDonald sent his mount to the front a furlong out and secured what looked a convincing advantage.

Romantic Warrior just held off Luxembourg in the Hong Kong Cup
Image: Romantic Warrior just held off Luxembourg in the Hong Kong Cup

Ryan Moore and Luxembourg kept battling away and ultimately went down by just a short head, but it was a 12th win in 17 outings for Romantic Warrior, who made it back-to-back victories in this 10-furlong contest.

"I'm proud of this horse, he's the best," said McDonald. "He's one of the toughest horses I've ever ridden. He's so easy to ride and he's got a heart as big as a lion. To travel back from Australia to here, this is his best win by a mile."

Sweynesse sprints to Hong Kong success

Lucky Sweynesse lived up to his billing as the highest-rated speedster in the world on turf by claiming the Hong Kong Sprint.

Zac Purton had a slightly anxious moment when caught short of room 300 metres out but his mount produced a smart turn of foot once finding daylight.

It was a ninth home win in the last 10 renewals of this six furlongs event and Purton said of the 7-20 favourite: "He's a very good horse and I love him. He deserved it. He's been our best sprinter for the past year."

Lucky With You stayed on for second under Andrea Atzeni, while British raider Highfield Princess finished a creditable sixth after being prominent early on from a poor draw.

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Junko came from last to first to give France a first win in the Hong Kong Vase since 2014.

Flintshire scored for Andre Fabre and Maxime Guyon nine years ago and the same team combined for victory in the mile-and-a-half contest.

La City Blanche set a slow early pace, followed by O'Brien's Irish raider Warm Heart.

Moore sent Warm Heart to the front on the turn for home, but she was reeled in at the furlong pole by 91-20 chance Junko, who then comfortably fended off the challenge of Zeffiro by a length, with Warm Heart third.

Guyon said: "It's been a long time since we won with Flintshire, so I'm very happy to win today.

"Normally, he's a little bit better on softer ground, but the horse has improved a lot and the guys told me he had been very good in the mornings here."

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