Bred and sold by Kia Ora Stud, quality All Too Hard sprinter Wellington won the Group I Chairman’s Sprint Prize (1200m) last year and returned to Sha Tin on Sunday to claim his second elite victory when taking out the Group I The Queen’s Silver Jubilee Cup (1400m).
Trained by Richard Gibson and ridden by Alexis Badel, Wellington made light of the wet conditions to charge home and win by three-quarters of a length taking his overall record to eight wins and a second from 14 starts.
Wellington will attempt to defend his crown in the third leg of the Hong Kong Speed Series on 24 April after his emphatic return to peak form.
“I’m obviously pleased for the horse, just had an irritating start to the season for him. We were lucky to have a horse after the LONGINES Hong Kong Sprint and all the misfortune that happened to those horses,” Gibson said, referring to the accident-marred feature in December.
“As I said before the race today, we were a bit unlucky in running last time so we thought it was the right time to hit 1400m and I thought he did it with class and style today.
“We were actually disappointed with the one draw. I wanted an outside draw and to ride him quiet and finish on the outside. Alexis and I really wanted to finish wide today, which I think was the key to the good acceleration he showed.
“This year, things haven’t quite gone right for him and we fancied our chances today and the horse delivered. We’ve got the third leg of the Sprint Series and we won’t be travelling with the horse, so we’ll concentrate on the third leg.”
Wellington was a $70,000 Magic Millions purchase from the Kia Ora Stud draft for Lauriston Thoroughbred Farm and was bred by Kia Ora and partners.
He is the first winner from Group II placed More Than Ready (USA) mare Mihiri, who comes from a European female family featuring Group I winners Cerulean Sky and Moonstone and a raft of stakes-winning stayers such as Honoulu and Master of Reality.
The current two year-old from Mihiri, a filly by Star Witness, was sold by Bhima Thoroughbreds at Inglis Classic last year for $85,000 to Tricolours Racing and Syndication.
Mihiri has no yearling for the sales this year and produced a filly by Wellington’s sire All Too Hard last spring.
All Too Hard has had good success with daughters of More Than Ready, the two Vinery Stud based sires combining to produce 35 winners from 54 starters and those winners include not only Group I winner Wellington, but also Group I winning mare Forbidden Love and Group III winner Outrageous.
Story from Breednet