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Posted 2022-04-03 16:27:01  
Wellington Stakes claims to HK best sprinter

Richard Gibson will attempt to crown Wellington’s season in familiar fashion by chasing victory in the G1 Chairman’s Sprint Prize (1200m) in three weeks after the speedster snared the G2 Sprint Cup (1200m) at Sha Tin on Sunday (3 April) with another outstanding display of power.

Conceding weight to seven of nine rivals, Wellington shouldered 128lb under Alexis Badel to deny Sight Success (123lb) by a neck after surging down the middle of the track, while Master Eight (123lb) was third, a further three-quarter of a length away.

Bidding to claim a third G1 feature at the glittering FWD Champions Day meeting on Sunday, 24 April, Wellington demonstrated his superiority on Sunday after outsprinting his opponents with a withering 21.68s burst over the final 400m, charging from seventh to triumph in the process.

Gibson quickly confirmed the son of All Too Hard would be spelled immediately after his next assignment, just as he had been last season in the aftermath of G1 success.

“It’s only a few weeks’ time, these horses are in good shape,” Gibson said. “His last run of the season will be in three weeks’ time. He’s been the best sprinter in Hong Kong for some time. He was carrying quite a big penalty today and I thought he showed some class and style once again.

“The stats were against us in these races, so there was a bit of pre-race nerves but the horse has been training so well and showed a lot of class and ability today.”

Badel patiently balanced the explosive Wellington behind a solid speed set by Kurpany before tracking Hot King Prawn into the race and fanning wide into the straight.

“From that draw, I was happy to come back a little bit if the pace was good enough. I was happy to follow Hot King Prawn. I knew Sight Success could be a rising star because of the handicap situation, he was carrying a little bit less weight,” Badel said.

“But Wellington is back to his best form and he gave me a fantastic turn of foot and he was also brilliant through the line because he fought back. I’m very happy, very pleased.

“Last time (when winning the G1 Queen’s Silver Jubilee Cup) over 1400m, he was so relaxed and today we came back to 1200m against very fast horses and I was worried that maybe the horse has lost a bit of speed, but he showed that he was again brilliant today and very mature.”

Frankie Lor reclaimed the lead in the trainers’ championship with Sakewin’s brilliant debut victory in the second section of the Class 4 Peel Handicap (1200m) under Joao Moreira to share training honours for the day with Francis Lui.

Jumping from barrier 14, the New Zealand-bred swiftly found the rail to control the speed before surging away for a comfortable win, providing Lor with a double – and overall leadership with the battle with John Size because of a greater number of minor placings.

Lor, who registered his 300th Hong Kong victory with Sakewin, and Size each have 61 wins. 

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