Favourite Golden Sixty gives way to Beauty Eternal in Champions Mile

Noah Strang
Noah Strang
Morphetville Racecourse 27/04/24
Zac Purton and Beauty Eternal best Golden Sixty at Champions Mile

Golden Sixty came into Sunday’s Group 1 FWD Champions Mile seeking his fourth straight win in the competition and his 27th career win overall. Unfortunately for him, jockey Vincent Ho, and trainer Francis Lui, the legendary horse finished fourth, and now may be heading to retirement.  
While Golden Sixty disappointed, Beauty Eternal, ridden by Australian jockey Zac Purton, won the Champions Mile by a big margin, prevailing by a length and a half.  

News Insights

  • Golden Sixty finishes fourth in potentially his last race.
  • Eternal Beauty upsets odds makers to win his first Champions Mile.
  • Golden Sixty received applause as he left the track.

Beauty Eternal gets upset Champions Mile 

Like with most major races in Hong Kong featuring Golden Sixty, the legendary gelding was a big favourite with the betting sites. The 8-year-old came into the Champions Mile with $1.50 odds and was a virtual lock to place. Voyage Bubble followed the legend at $7.00.  
Beauty Eternal was behind both Golden Sixty and Voyage Bubble at $12.00. Despite the long odds, the five-year-old delivered a dominating victory. The John Size-trained horse had the race wrapped up before hitting the final 400m mark.  
In the end, Beauty Eternal won the race with a length-and-a-half lead over his stablemate Red Lion ($27). Voyage Bubble came close in third with Golden Sixty coming in fourth, three and a quarter lengths behind Beauty Eternal. 

Aussie jockey bests Golden Sixty again 

The Hong Kong and Australian racing circuits have always been very close. This fact has haunted Golden Sixty recently with Australian jockey Zac Purton getting the better of the legend on three separate occasions now.  
Purton, riding Waikuku, California Spangle, and Beauty Eternal on Sunday, has pipped Golden Sixty at three Group 1 races, preventing the Hong Kong horse from expanding his 27-win legacy.  
After the race, Purton talked about how hard it was to beat Golden Sixty. “I thought the only chance I had to beat Golden Sixty was to try to put a gap on them,” he said.  
There was no speed in the race, which gave us the opportunity to lead. The last thing I said to John before the race was ‘I think the going is a lot better on the fence’, he just got into a lovely rhythm and controlled the race,” Purton said, explaining his strategy. 

Golden Sixty set to say goodbye 

As impressive as Purton and Beauty Eternal were, all eyes were on Golden Sixty after the race. The legend was cheered by fans as he and jockey Vincent Ho left the track. After the race, Ho and trainer Francis Lui suggested this race could have been Golden Sixty’s last.  
He still ran well, it was because of the ground. He got beaten one time on the same ground. Of course, everyone is still disappointed,” Lui said, referencing the wet turf at Sha Tin Racecourse on Sunday.  
When I hit the straight I could already feel he could not pick up with his usual turn of foot,” Ho said.  
Lui then revealed that “Yes, I think [that is his final run] – probably. We’ll discuss it with the owner, but he’s nine next year.” 
Golden Sixty is the most successful horse in Hong Kong racing history. He’s won 26 of his 31 starts and earned more than AUD$32.6 million in prize money.