Karis Teetan has brushed aside suggestions he’s not the right jockey for Pakistan Star and thrown his support behind the enigmatic gelding despite a last-start hiccup.
Teetan is confident the 2,000m of the Group Two BOCHK Jockey Club Cup will bring the best out of the two-time Group One winner after he again had issues coming down the 1,800m chute last time out in the Sa Sa Ladies’ Purse.
The Mauritian managed to keep Pakistan Star moving on that occasion to avoid a repeat of the infamous “Pakistan Stop” incident of last June and is confident it will be business as usual for the fan favourite come Sunday.
Big brother is watching you - and beating you! Time Warp responds to a perfect front-running ride from @zpurton and roars back to his best to hold younger sibling Glorious Forever in a dramatic Sa Sa Ladies' Purse. #HKracing pic.twitter.com/miKyl4SKoS— HKJC Racing (@HKJC_Racing) November 4, 2018
“It’s a big day, I hope Pakistan Star is in his right mind. I believe the 2,000m should be much better for him, once he gets around the turn he should be OK,” Teetan said.
“If he brings his ‘A’ game he is going to smoke them. He’s that good, he’s done it before. He just needs to get the right run where he relaxes nicely and when he lets down people will remember him again.”
There has been talk connections could opt for a different rider for the Longines Hong Kong Vase (2,400m) on international day should Teetan not get the best out of Pakistan Star this weekend, but the jockey is focusing only on what he can control.
“I’ve watched the race a million times already to make sure I do the right thing on him. I’m just going to go out there, listen to what Tony says and get him into a comfortable position,” Teetan said.
“I wouldn’t say there is lots of pressure but there are a lot of things we want to go right. He’s a big horse and what happened last time was a bit of a disappointment. But we understand the issue, he thinks too much over at the 1,800m.”
Teetan has ridden Pakistan Star at his two starts this season and thinks Sunday’s race could be different to the Ladies’ Purse, where Time Warp led all the way to win from his brother Glorious Forever and the back-markers were never in the hunt.
“This time Joao [Moreira] is riding [Glorious Forever] and he knows what happened last time. I don’t think Joao will let Time Warp have his own way, he might just out a bit of pressure on and the race might just be a little it different,” he said.
Cruz wouldn’t be drawn by the suggestion that Teetan is on trial this weekend, saying “everyone has got pressure, and I mean everybody, everybody in the camp feels the pressure to perform”.
Cruz said Pakistan Star is “fine” and preparations are full steam ahead to the Vase.
“That’ll be the last time he ever races over 1,800m. This is his distance, 2,000m and above,” he said.
While only boasting a field of nine, the Jockey Club Cup promises to be a willing contest.
Werther is sure to be better off from a strong return over the mile and Eagle Way is building nicely to international day, while Frankie Lor Fu-chuen is hopeful Ruthven is on track for a start in the Vase.
“Last time he raced well and finished sixth, this time he runs 2,000m and I think maybe later on 2,400m might be the best distance for him,” Lor said.