Karis Teetan wasted no time pleading his case for the permanent ride on future star Perfect Match after the Danny Shum Chap-shing-trained three-year-old took out the Griffin Trophy (1,400m) at Sha Tin on Sunday.
The Mauritian snared the ride in the absence of the suspended Zac Purton and did not disappoint on the 1.3 pop, whetting his appetite for what is to come.
“Karis said ‘he’s a very good horse, give him to me to ride’,” Shum said after talking to his jockey post-race.
“He keeps improving, this horse. He’s very quiet, he listens to the jockey’s orders. He can jump in front and lead or he can box seat.”
Perfect Match adds his name to a Griffin Trophy roll of honour which includes star names such as Luger and Pakistan Star. Danny Shum's gelding doesn't have things all his own way under @KarisTeetan in R3 but is well on top at the finish. #HKracing pic.twitter.com/bvR83IKFie— HKJC Racing (@HKJC_Racing) December 23, 2018
It was Perfect Match’s third win from only four starts and it completed a hat-trick of victories for the son of Not A Single Doubt.
Perfect Match followed in the footsteps of Pakistan Star, 2015 Derby winner Luger and Paul O’Sullivan’s highly touted Win Beauty Win – who tragically died earlier this year in a stable accident – in winning the race, which is open only to three-year-olds.
Teetan was full of praise afterwards and said the only way is up for the horse.
“I think he can climb the ladder, he’s still only three and when they get one more year into them they just show much more improvement. He’s smart – no problem,” he said.
Perfect Match sat in the box seat in the run after Quadruple Double was slightly sharper away and went to the front, with Teetan content to follow the rail before taking Perfect Match out in the straight and cruising to the lead.
Quadruple Double held on for second and Murray’s Partners ran on into third, marking the David Hall-trained Quadruple Double’s fourth second from eight starts without breaking through for a victory.
“If I would have had a choice I would have led but the leader had me in tight early,” Teetan said. “As soon as he gets behind a horse he just sleeps – I felt that when I worked him – but he’s a very smart horse with a nice turn of foot.”
Shum said he will now give Perfect Match a month off before targeting a Class Three race over 1,400m.
“I think he will only go up two or three pounds so I’ll give him a break and run him in a Class Three next month and see how he goes,” said Shum of his charge, who entered the race with a rating of 69.
It wasn’t all smiles for Shum on Sunday, with his Derby hopeful Harmony Victory finishing a disappointing fifth behind Dark Dream after being sent out a red-hot favourite at 2.1.