California Spangle wins HK Mile
California Spangle denied Golden Sixty a third success in the Longines Hong Kong Mile, with the odds-on favourite beaten by a masterful tactical ride from Zac Purton at Sha Tin.
With Golden Sixty in his usual midfield position, Purton pressed ahead on the Tony Cruz-trained runner from two out and built enough of a lead to hold off the legendary home favourite and strike by a neck.
This was the four-year-old's first victory over Golden Sixty on his third attempt. He got within a neck on their last meeting in the Jockey Club Mile in November but reversed the form to provide a fourth Hong Kong Mile success for Purton and Cruz.
The winning jockey said: "He's very good. He's shown throughout his career he's a horse who deserves to be in the top echelon. It took Golden Sixty to beat him last time and I think he's the best I've seen since I've been here. There's no disgrace in that.
"He's a phenomenal horse and he's versatile. He's won over 1,000, 1,200, 1,600, 1,800 and just got beat over 2000 [metres] Not many horses can do that."
Golden Sixty has been the dominant force in Hong Kong for the last three years, with this just his fourth defeat from 26 starts.
CALIFORNIA SPANGLE has now amassed over US$5.3 million in Prizemoney to date, he was bought as a breeze up horse privately by Badgers Bloodstock off Jim McCartan's Gaybrooke Lodge Stud. His next start is in the Stewards' Cup, where he will face GOLDEN SIXTY again as well as ROMANTIC WARRIOR... three of the top ten horses in the world on TRC World Rankings.