The Hong Kong jockey’s merry-go-round goes into overdrive at this time of year and Karis Teetan is one rider who knows it all to well, but it will matter little if Mr Stunning can salute in Sunday’s Longines Hong Kong Sprint.
Teetan lost the ride on Pakistan Star for the Vase after riding him for his past three starts and also partnered Mr Stunning early in his career before getting the boot for Joao Moreira, but things could come the sweetest of full circles for the Mauritian this weekend.
Teetan has only won a local Group One in Hong Kong and has never saluted in the Hong Kong International Races, however Mr Stunning looks to be tracking perfectly as he attempts to defend his Sprint crown after winning under Nash Rawiller 12 months ago.
“I think all of the jockeys here in Hong Kong want to win one of these races and it would be good history because this horse, Mr Stunning, I rode him in his first three starts, then I lost the ride for nearly two years,” Teetan said.
“It’s not easy because I won on the horse two times then I still went close with the big weight and then I got kicked off him for Joao.
“Joao was riding for John [Size} and he went on to win some really big races and Nash was lucky to win on him last season in the Sprint and I was in the stands looking at him.”
As Teetan looks to embed himself as one of Hong Kong’s best jockeys, big-race success is crucial and the 28-year-old said past disappointments have steeled him.
“When you’ve been here for a long time, you are grown up and strong in your head and it just makes you work harder,” he said.
Mr Stunning, who switched from Size’s yard to Frankie Lor Fu-chuen at the start of this season, will lock horns with Size’s latest big thing Hot King Prawn, who enters the race on the back of three consecutive Group wins.
It was Hot King Prawn who prevailed when the two met three weeks ago in the Jockey Club Sprint, but only by half a length and Mr Stunning is five pounds better off this time around.
“If Hot King Prawn gets his own way in front like he did last time, he’s going to be difficult to run down,” Teetan said. “I know my horse and I know the other horse so I will work my way around it.”
Lor is also looking for a breakthrough success on Sunday, with the second-year trainer yet to salute at Group One level.
“It’s my dream, every trainer dreams of having Group One winners. I think he’s my best chance on Sunday,” Lor said of Mr Stunning.
“He looks good, I hope he can run a very good race. He’s only had two starts, I gave him one last trial on Friday and he trialled well.”
Lor also has Glorious Forever (Cup) and Ruthven (Vase) in Sunday’s features and hopes the former can give a good sight in his first top-line appearance.
“Glorious Forever has a chance, I can’t say he has a very good chance but he has got a chance,” Lor said.
“We won’t go head to head again with Time Warp. We’ll just let him lead and take the trail. I think he has got more to give.”