California Spangle spoils Golden Sixty's hat-trick challenge

Golden Sixty failed to land a hat-trick of wins at Longines Hong Kong Mile after missing out to California Spangle in Sha Tin.

Golden Sixty was widely expected to win the Group One heat for a third time and had beaten California Spangle on his last two starts.

However, Zac Purton gave the winner a fine ride, racing into the straight behind pace-setter Beauty Joy before seizing the initiative and going for home two furlongs out.

While Golden Sixty set off in his customary late surge, he just could not reel in California Spangle, with ex-Irish runner Laws Of Indices keeping on for a creditable third for Australian trainer Annabel Neasham.

California Spangle's trainer Tony Cruz said: "Everything can change within a second in a race like that, but I expected him to win an international race one day.

"Golden Sixty is a fantastic horse but maybe age is catching up with him.

"Everything turned out fantastically well for us and we are lucky to have Zac in the saddle."

Purton added: "It was pretty straightforward in the early stages as Tony told me to let him roll along, but today he kept coming back underneath me waiting for the other horses.

"I think today we have seen how versatile he can be. When he went clear I could hear Golden Sixty breathing down my neck, but when we were still in front at the hundred I thought, hang on, he's not going to catch us.

"I won't discredit Golden Sixty in any way, but today we evened things up and I would like to pay tribute to Tony, who was a legendary jockey and is also a legend as a trainer in the way he gets horses to peak for him."

Romantic Warrior coasted to victory in the Longines Hong Kong Cup for trainer Danny Shum and jockey James McDonald.

The four-year-old could be called the winner from some way out, grabbing the lead a furlong out and quickly putting daylight between himself and the rest of the field.

McDonald had time to ease down and salute the Sha Tin crowd as Danon The Kid chased him home in second.

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