Beluga lands Sha Tin feature

Beluga lands Sha Tin feature9 Jan 2022

New Zealand-bred gelding Beluga (NZ) (Tavistock) upstaged several Four-Year-Old Classic Series contenders with his victory in the Class 2 Chek Keng Handicap (1600m) at Sha Tin on Sunday, prompting trainer David Hall to consider loftier targets with the son of Tavistock

Beluga’s record of five wins and eight minor placings from 16 starts would be even more imposing if not for a flurry of wide barriers over the past two seasons.

Drawn in barrier three on Sunday for Matthew Chadwick, the five-year-old had the run of the race before accelerating away from Ima Single Man and The Irishman.

“How many times has he just run unbelievable races from those wide gates?” Hall said. “To see him finally get the charmed run and deliver like he did was pretty fitting considering the way things went with him last year.

“He’s in a good place at the moment and he’s probably not done with. This season he’s a lot more relaxed, he’s more mature and he’s handling himself a lot better. The results are there and we can probably now test him at a bit further.

“Now is a good time to experiment with him – if you take up those box-seat positions in slow-run races it’s a big advantage.”

Hall indicated the Gr.3 Queen Mother Memorial Cup Handicap (2400m) might be an option for Beluga.

Beluga was initially purchased out of Curraghmore’s 2018 New Zealand Bloodstock Book 1 Yearling Sale draft for $150,000 before going through Riversley Park’s New Zealand Bloodstock Ready To Run Sale draft later that year where he was bought by bloodstock agent John Foote for $400,000. - NZ Racing Desk