Sunday’s Singapore Gold Cup (2,000m) will have a distinct Hong Kong flavour, with star jockey Karis Teetan spearheading a three-pronged attack on the race by Sha Tin-based riders.
Teetan rides the Stephen Gray-trained Lim’s Magic in the feature at Kranji and the five-year-old gelding looks set to be right in the finish after being installed as third favourite by bookmakers.
“There’s a question mark if he’ll see out the 2,000m but I spoke to the trainer and he told me the horse has a very good turn of foot so if I can get some luck in the run he’s going to run well,” Teetan said.
Teetan has five rides for the day, four of which are for Gray: “Stephen’s a very good guy and he always supports me.”
Matthew Poon Ming-fai and Grant van Niekerk also have rides in the Cup, with Poon aboard Preditor and Van Niekerk partnering Twickenham.
Poon reunites with Preditor after piloting the horse to victory in the Group Three Jumbo Jet Trophy at Kranji in August.
While Poon and Van Niekerk’s mounts are outsiders, Teetan enters the race with a certain level of expectation after his strong start to the season in Hong Kong and the $6.50 price of Lim’s Magic.
King Louis and Mr Clint loom as his biggest challengers, with King Louis beautifully weighted with 111 pounds in a race that has traditionally suited those down in the weights.
Circuit Land, who had 28 starts in Hong Kong under the tutelage of Danny Shum Chap-shing, is another who is in the market and has been consistent since moving the stables of star trainer Lee Freedman at Kranji.
Also on Sunday is the Group One Queen Elizabeth II Cup (2,200m) at Kyoto Racecourse, where former Hong Kong champion Joao Moreira, who is in the process of returning to Sha Tin as John Size’s stable jockey, will ride Lys Gracieux.
Lys Gracieux looks set to jump close to favourite, with the Mirco Demuro-ridden Mozu Katchan and Cantabile, who will be ridden by Mirco’s brother Cristian, also poised to give big showings.
A number of horses in the race are nominated for December’s Longines Hong Kong International Races, with Frontier Queen, Mozu Katchan and Crocosmia nominated for the Hong Kong Vase and the Hong Kong Cup, while Lys Gracieux is nominated solely for the Hong Kong Cup.