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Wellington secures Sprint glory at Sha Tin

Royal Ascot could be on the agenda for Wellington following his victory in the Longines Hong Kong Sprint at Sha Tin.

He suffered a surprise defeat at the hands of Lucky Sweynesse on his most recent start and pulled up lame, but Wellington reversed that form in the hands of Ryan Moore, substituting for regular partner Alexis Badel who was injured in a fall last month.

Sight Success led the runners into the home straight in the six-furlong contest, with Ryan Moore plotting an ideal route down the middle of the track aboard the winner.

Wellington, who is trained by Richard Gibson, responded in style coming home a cosy winner from Sight Success with last year’s race winner Sky Field third. Lucky Sweynesse struggled to get a clear run through and finished sixth.

Gibson could now look to Royal Ascot for his charge, with Cape Of Good Hope (2005) and Little Bridge (2012) having previously struck for Hong Kong handlers at the summer showpiece.

“In a five-month preparation we have put everything into getting him back and ready for today, but if he comes out of it good of course we will look at Ascot,” he said.

“You can’t call yourself a sprint champion unless you take out this big one. I’m gutted for Alexis Badel but proud of our team, who had a lot of work to do after his last run.

“We let nature take its course and were patient and also pleased that he hadn’t missed any work.

“I thought Ryan’s execution was micro perfect.”

Moore was full of praise for his mount and delighted to get on the Sha Tin scoresheet.

He said: “He began well off a very slow pace for the first furlong and a half to two furlongs.

“I was happy and mindful that he would be able to go when he wanted to go.

“He quickened up and sealed it in a few strides – I’ve always felt he was the best sprinter in Hong Kong.

“To me he looked the part. He had excuses the last time and today he was very relaxed and fell asleep during the race, but as soon as I asked him he was straight into gear.

“I’m very fortunate to come here so often and it’s a fitting way to end the year.”

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