Hong Kong’s emerging sprinters try their luck against Hot King Prawn

Richard Gibson has no second thoughts about running his emerging sprinter Wellington 10 pounds out of the handicap on Saturday as he attempts to measure up with some of Hong Kong’s best.

The four-year-old has shown exceptional talent in his seven starts to date but faces a huge jump in the ratings should he win the Class One Lantau Island Handicap (1,200m), where he meets top speedster Hot King Prawn.

The contest features Hong Kong’s next generation of sprinters, with Winning Dreamer and Sky Field also looking to stake their claim for next month’s Group One Chairman’s Sprint Prize (1,200m).

Rated 96, Wellington is still eligible for Class Two but with no Sha Tin fixtures over 1,200m for another three weeks, Gibson did not want to be left waiting.

“It wasn’t really [a tough call to run], it is more the way the programme went actually,” he said.

“This race has always been on his wish list. There’s not another Class Two 1,200m for a while – it would have been a six week break or so, so this has been the target.”

With Wellington, Winning Dreamer and Sky Field all carrying the bottom weight of 113 pounds, Gibson thinks it is a good opportunity for the next batch to strut their stuff against recent Group One winner Hot King Prawn.

“He is one of three of up-and-coming youngsters who are trying their luck up against the hardened, tough, best sprinters in town,” he said.

“It is great to have the lightweight jockey [Alexis Badel] back on him and Saturday is no walk in the park.

“I am very happy with his condition and I am looking forward to the race. Obviously we are looking further ahead [to the Chairman’s Sprint Prize] if he is good enough. It is not an easy task but we will be giving it our best shot.”



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