Bren O’Brien



Wellington bounces back for Sprint coronation

Star sprinter Wellington has returned to form with a real sense of timing, claiming the fourth Group 1 of his career with victory in the G1 Hong Kong Sprint.

Regarded as the best sprinter in Hong Kong for some time, Wellington secured the victory to match the reputation when he and Ryan Moore surged home to win the G1 Hong Kong Sprint.

Registering his 11th win of his 19th-start career, the Australian-bred son of All Too hard shrugged off his recent defeat in the G2 Jockey Club Sprint, delivering a first HKIR win for trainer Richard Gibson since 2013.

It was Moore’s ability to keep the six-year-old in clear racing room which proved decisive in race where the tempo, initially set by Lim’s Kosciuszko and then taken up by Sight Success, was not strong.

The John Size-trained Sight Success was the leader heading for home and gave a good kick, but Moore got Wellington moving and he had clear air to set out after the leader, claiming him inside the final 100 metres and recording a relatively comfortable 0.75-length win.

Sight Success fought on well to hold onto second, half a length from the defending champion Sky Field, who finished third just ahead of Courier Wonder, who completed a first four sweep for the locals.

Japanese sprinter Meikei Yell, who travelled deep throughout the race, finished fifth, while the short-priced favourite Lucky Sweynesse was without luck trying to get a run on the inside in the straight and could only finish sixth.

It was a second win in the race for globetrotting jockey Moore, who claimed the ride from Wellington’s usual rider Alexis Badel, who was recently injured.

“He’s a very good horse and I feel very fortunate to have got the ride,” Moore said. “Poor Alexis has the bad luck of not being here today.

“He’s a horse that is proven at the top level that’s his fourth Group 1 now.

“The pace was steady early, he was able to get a nice bit of cover back of midfield and moved in the the race comfortably and probably got to the front too early to be honest, but he’s such a talented horse and is a pleasure to ride.”




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