There’s been Bruce Lee and really not too much else- nothing else when it comes to a bona fide Made In Hong Kong hero.

After Sunday and the win at Shatin Racecourse of the galloper named Golden Sixty, maybe this will change. Maybe that Refresh will be pressed.

This reboot has to do with a horse who arrived here unraced and very much a blank canvas. It was a galloper even less than a work in progress and who’s has been turned into something special.

Golden Sixty is a Made In Hong Kong success story crafted by the very much local team of trainer Francis Lui, regular rider Vincent CY Ho and owner Stanley Chan Ka-leung.

This is more than a horse racing story. It’s a Hong Kong story- a positive and timely one- needed by this city.

People talk about Hong Kong’s “Can Do spirit” and the “resilience” of its people. But talk is cheap and quickly become vapid cliches whereas even the greatest “resilience” has its breaking point.

Unless living in Hong Kong and having a strong emotional bond with this city and has lived with and through the many ups and downs it’s gone through, how it was all but knocked down last year and is only now slowly finding its feet, there’s a need for something to cheer about.

Something that’s a true Hong Kong product that, perhaps, can make the world see that this city is in rebuilding mode and finding its inner resolve. And if a racehorse can help tell the story, so be it.

Photo credit: Wallace Wan

Here, the backstory to Golden Sixty is almost ready for Netflix. The plot involves a low-key Chinese trainer who works with a naturally gifted young local rider needing that elusive something to make himself known outside of his “neighbourhood”.

Photo: HKJC

Photo credit: Wallace Wan

Add to these two central characters cast, there’s the supporting team around the horse and an owner who trusts their judgment when it comes to mapping out a future for his- and their- horse. It’s complete teamwork.

Though on Sunday, Golden Sixty lowered the colours of Champion Miler Beauty Generation in the Celebration Cup, it wasn’t what he did, it was the way that he did it- and when, at this early stage of the Hong Kong racing season, hardly at his fittest.

The road ahead for Golden Sixty is an exciting one. And here, beware the traps laid out by the hype machine. Hype has a habit of making fools of many- and in every industry.

For Hong Kong racing, there are all the makings of an “idol” horse. It doesn’t need a series of more plushies. It’s more than being saddled with a name like “Golden Boy”.

Yes, Golden Sixty has every “product category” to be marketable. But it must be smart marketing- marketing that tells the continuing story of Golden Sixty in a new way.

Storytelling in this “new normal” needs to have an emotional quotient that touches the reader or viewer for it to resonate with them. It’s an intangible. In advertising, we call this appealing to heart and head.

It can’t be more of the same. Whatever “it” is, it’s got to be something as special as this horse. And as special as Hong Kong, the city in 2020. It also can’t be about one race.

Racing- and non racing fans- need to be taken on a journey- the past, present and future of Golden Sixty.

Easier said than done. But by looking beyond the obvious, aspirational and inspirational things can be achieved.

#goldensixty #HKracing #hongkong #horseracing #vincentcyho #francislui #madeinhongkong #BrandHK