Medaglia D'Oro unlocks a new achievement with Hong Kong Derby winner
Golden Sixty finishes fast in a thrilling race to land the Sha Tin showpiece
Medaglia D'Oro has accomplished plenty in his 16 years at stud in Kentucky but he filled a gap on his CV on Sunday when Golden Sixty became his first winner of the BMW Hong Kong Derby at Sha Tin.
It was a thrilling renewal of the race as one of the rank outsiders, Playa Del Puente, went clear of the field three furlongs from home and it looked as though the bold move might pay off for jockey Blake Shinn.
But odds-on favourite Golden Sixty, winner of the Hong Kong Classic Mile and Classic Cup on his last two starts, came with a strong run under Vincent Ho to mow down Playa Del Puente in the dying strides and score by a neck.
Golden Sixty becomes only the second horse, after Rapper Dragon in 2017, to win all three legs of the four-year-old Classic series.
The gelding, trained by Francis Lui for Stanley Chan, was bred in Australia by Asco International and was purchased by the handler for NZ$300,000 at the Karaka Ready to Run Sale in New Zealand in 2017.
Medaglia D'Oro's shuttle missions to Darley's stallion base in New South Wales have yielded 27 stakes winners. They are headed by Astern, Crown Prosecutor, Flit and Vancouver, who all struck at the highest level – Vancouver in Australia's most prestigious two-year-old contest, the Golden Slipper.
In the northern hemisphere the stallion has fielded no fewer than 21 Group/Grade 1 winners including brilliant fillies Rachel Alexandra and Songbird as well as Breeders' Cup Turf hero Talismanic.
Medaglia D'Oro, a 21-year-old son of El Prado, won the Travers Stakes, Whitney Handicap and Donn Handicap and ran second in two Breeders' Cup Classics in a glittering career for Bobby Frankel.
He was initially retired to Hill 'n' Dale Farms in Kentucky before moving to Stonewall Stallions.
After enjoying significant success with his first crop, which contained top-level winners CS Silk, Gabby's Golden Gal, Rachel Alexandra and Warrior's Reward, he was sold to Sheikh Mohammed for an undisclosed sum in 2009 and became a Darley stallion at Jonabell Farm in Kentucky. His fee there this year is $200,000.
Medaglia D'Oro's latest star Golden Sixty hails from a family that will be well known in Britain and Ireland. He is out of the Distorted Humor mare Gaudeamus, who won the Group 2 Debutante Stakes for Jim Bolger at Leopardstown in 2006.
Gaudeamus is in turn out of the stakes-placed Seattle Slew mare Leo's Lucky Lady, whose six other scorers include Vintage and Champagne Stakes third Leo's Luckyman and Leo's Lucky Star, a winner under both codes for Mark Johnston and then David Pipe who ran third in the Grand Annual Chase at Cheltenham.
Gaudeamus was sold to breed in Australia in foal to Pivotal, and the resultant gelding Fulcrum won five races there. She is also the dam of Listed-placed Igitur to Helmet and has a two-year-old colt by Choisir, a filly foal by Capitalist and was covered by Trapeze Artist in the past southern hemisphere breeding season.
The Medaglia D'Oro-Distorted Humor cross has already produced Grade 1 winners Elate and New Money Honey as well as Grade 2 scorers Funny Proposition, Lady Montdore and Mrs McDougal.
Narrowly beaten Playa Del Puente provides a great result for smaller players with less of a budget. Winner of the Listed Patton Stakes for Mick Halford last year, he is by Ballyhane Stud's value option Elzaam, whose fee this year is just €4,000, and was bred by Dermot Kelly out of the inexpensively sourced Galileo mare Playamongthestars.
Playa Del Puente was a €27,000 Goffs November foal purchase by Tom Burns and was resold to BBA Ireland for €40,000 at the Tattersalls Ireland September Yearling Sale.
He presumably netted his original racing owners the CBR Syndicate a healthy profit when sold privately to race in Hong Kong last year.
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