“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.”
Badel savoured his second Hong Kong G1 on the son of All Too Hard, who improved his record to eight wins from 14 attempts, while boosting his prizemoney earnings to almost HK$26 million.
“That was a strong and big win from the horse,” the Frenchman said. “From that draw, I was only trying to get him to relax over 1400. He was absolutely relaxed and I was looking for a way out and as soon as I could I find some space and let him accelerate and he gave me his best turn of foot.
“He’s a brilliant horse and I’m very happy because we’ve been so unlucky the first few runs this season. He deserved a win like this and I’m very happy.
“He’s certainly much more laidback, more relaxed than he used to be and that certainly helps the horse to stay the distance like he did today.”
Badel celebrated a double on John Size’s Leading Fortune, who won the Class 4 Time Warp Handicap (1600m) to improve his record to five wins from 37 starts. Size further consolidated his position at the top of the trainers’ championship – 49-47 over Frankie Lor – when Antoine Hamelin piloted Gallant Express to victory in the Class 3 Lucky Nine Handicap (1200m).