Ferraris Can Get Whyte Rabbit Home

Sha Tin first due off @ 10h00 on Monday

David Hall hopes Atullibigeal can add further lustre to his stable’s strong season with victory in the HK$2.84 million Class 2 Hong Kong Reunification Cup Handicap at Sha Tin on Monday.

Atullibigeal has had a fine season

Atullibigeal has had a fine season (Pic – HKJC)

With 41 wins, Hall is only three victories short of matching his career-best haul of 44 wins in a Hong Kong season after a campaign crowned by Invincible Sage’s Gr1 Chairman’s Sprint Prize triumph in April.

Atullibigeal has delivered two of Hall’s wins this season in a 12-start campaign which has seen the five-year-old earn prize money in 11 appearances – and also suffer two short-head defeats.

“Atullibigeal is a very honest and consistent horse and he’s had a good season. These sort of races, the ratings sort of favour the lighter-weighted horses so it might be a little bit tougher for him with the handicap but he’s very honest,” Hall said.

“He turns up all the time and if it’s a genuinely run race, he’ll be running on strongly.”

To be ridden by Hugh Bowman from barrier four, Atullibigeal faces eight rivals – Flaming Rabbit, Tomodachi Kokoroe, Wonder Kit, Supreme Lucky, Keefy, Superb Boy, Chiu Chow Spirit and Gorgeous Win.

Douglas Whyte is optimistic Flaming Rabbit can return to form under drawing barrier one for in-form jockey Luke Ferraris, fresh from a double at Happy Valley on Wednesday, 26 June.

Whyte, a 13-time Hong Kong champion, galloped Flaming Rabbit on Sha Tin’s All Weather Track on Monday, 24 June, clocking 55.1s (29.9, 25.2) and believes the dual European Gr3 winner is primed to rebound.

Flaming Rabbit is chasing a third Sha Tin win

Flaming Rabbit is chasing a third Sha Tin win (Pic – HKJC)

“I’m sat on him this week and he’s going really good. I’ve brought him back to 1400 metres and freshened him up. There look to be a couple of light-weighted horses that might pester him, but he’s not one-dimensional and I think he’ll run very well,” Whyte said.

“He’s been a bit up and down this season but he’s a colt so it’s been a bit difficult for him to maintain his form but when he comes into form and produces what he can, he’s done well for himself.

“His last run was disappointing – there was a lot of pace – when he was running at Happy Valley for the first time and I’m very confident that he will give a good account of himself this time.”

Flaming Rabbit won over 1600m at Sha Tin on 31 March, defeating The Golden Scenery and Mugen, who subsequently downed California Spangle to win the Gr3 Premier Cup Handicap at Sha Tin last Sunday, 23 June.

Ka Ying Victory is aiming for a third consecutive win over Sha Tin’s straight sprint course when he tackles the Class 3 CMA 90th Anniversary Cup Handicap on Monday before Hall looks to campaign the three-year-old over further ground next season.

Ka Ying Victory is bidding for a 1000m hat-trick

Ka Ying Victory is bidding for a 1000m hat-trick (Pic – HKJC)

“He’s probably a horse that wants further but he’s gone so well down the straight 1000m course, we probably don’t want to take him out of his comfort zone until the new season so he’s just going to have one more run and while it’s working, we’ll keep the same formula,” Hall said of the Charm Spirit gelding.

“Obviously, he’s going to carry a bit more weight but he’s relishing the track and distance, so we’ll give him another shot at it.”

Alexis Badel retains the mount on Ka Ying Victory, who has drawn barrier six and faces We Are Hero, Hasten Delight, Pleasant Endeavor, Alpha One, Flying High, Sovereign Fund, Brave Star, Phoenix Light, Motoman, Ace Victory and Super Fortune.

The Hong Kong Reunification Raceday continues the enthralling battle between Pierre Ng and Francis Lui for the 2023/24 Hong Kong trainers’ championship.

Pierre Ng holds a narrow lead in the Hong Kong trainers’ championship

Pierre Ng holds a narrow lead in the Hong Kong trainers’ championship (Pic – HKJC)

Both men have 65 wins, but Ng leads with more second placings – 54 to 48 – with only five meetings left in the season.

Ng will saddle 10 runners on Monday – Fortune Warrior, Medic Elite, Gangnam Star, Motoman, First Love, Super Bonus, Mr Aladdin, Fighting Machine, Roman Crown and Quantum Patch.

Lui will be represented by 12 starters – Loving Vibes, Noble One, General Ace, Hasten Delight, Brave Star, Harold Win, Wonder Kit, Superb Boy, Always Fluke, Divano, Euro Rocks and Second To None.

Monday’s 11-race card starts at Sha Tin with the Class 4 Racing Goes On Handicap at 10h00.

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