Atullibigeal gets lucky in TVB Cup, Latest Racing News - The New Paper
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Atullibigeal gets lucky in TVB Cup

HONG KONG - Thwarted by bad luck this season, the David Hall-trained Atullibigeal deservedly clinched the HK$2.84 million (S$488,500) Class 2 TVB Cup Handicap (1,400m)at Sha Tin on Feb 18, as Brenton Avdulla extended a powerful mid-season surge.

Beaten a short head when second in the Class 1 Chevalier Cup Handicap (1,600m) and a close fourth in the Class 1 Panasonic Handicap (1,400m), Atullibigeal bravely threaded narrow gaps in the straight to fend off Superb Boy and Drombeg Banner.

The 2.2 favourite Global Harmony refused to leave the barriers under Zac Purton.

“A little bit disappointing, he wasn’t able to win the Chevalier Cup or the Panasonic Cup,” said Hall. “He was unlucky in both those races, so (it’s) rewarding to get this race today and, hopefully, he’s not finished with yet.

“We had the barrier (gate 3) and it looked like he was going to get a good run but, obviously, he was in a bit of a pocket there and had to find room.

“But he got clear and he’s shown before he can be brave in between horses and he certainly was again today.”

Celebrating successive Sha Tin doubles with Fast Buck’s win for John Size in the Class 4 TVB Tung Wah Charity Show Handicap (1,200m on dirt), Avdulla said: “Atullibigeal was good. Good result.

“I thought I had one of those books where things would need to go right for me to ride a winner, but everything has worked out well. Can’t complain.”

Jamie Richards endured a bitter-sweet weekend with the decision to retire gun sprinter Wellington and the victory of G Liner in the Class 4 TVB Po Leung Kuk Gala Spectacular Handicap (1,650m on dirt) for Karis Teetan.

Richards confirmed Wellington, winner of 12 races in Hong Kong, including four Group 1s, and more than HK$68 million in prize money, would be retired after pulling up with an issue following his Happy Valley trial on Feb 17.

“He’ll be retired tomorrow (Feb 19),” said Richards, of the seven-year-old.

Richard Gibson trained Wellington, once acclaimed as Hong Kong Champion Sprinter, until the end of last season, when the All Too Hard gelding was transferred to Richards’ stable following Gibson’s retirement as a Hong Kong trainer. HKJC

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