The Mauritian Magician Karis Teetan has issued a timely reminder to owners, trainers and racing fans he is still a force to be reckoned with after a fantastic five-timer at Sha Tin.
The 29-year-old has almost been the forgotten man of the Hong Kong riding ranks early this season, despite coming off a campaign where he finished third on the championship table with a career-best 84 winners.
While the focus has been on the likely title dual between Zac Purton and Joao Moreira, as well as addition of Australian star Blake Shinn to the roster, Teetan has gone under the radar.
He only had two winners across the first four meetings, but his hard work behind the scenes paid off in spades on Saturday as he dominated the card.
And it wasn’t as if Teetan was on a heap of short-priced favourites.
His first victory came aboard Fun Times ($11.10) in the third event, before collecting the last four races with King Opie ($11.25), More Than This ($9.65), Winner Supreme ($3.45) and King Of Hearts ($12.75).
A HK$10 all-up on those five horses would have netted a cool HK$530,068.
It was the second five-timer of his Hong Kong career (his first came on October 7 last year), the sort of day that could plant the seeds for future success and a nice little reminder of what Teetan is capable of.
“It’s a great achievement, especially in Hong Kong, it’s a great privilege to have five winners in a day. I’m really grateful for all the support,” he said.
“I looked at my rides this morning and to be honest, I didn’t think I would have five winners.
“I had a beautiful day, I came here with a clean mind and just wanted to ride races to suit my horses. I felt great, everything fell right when I was out there. I got my horses into the perfect spots and they all responded well.”
While Teetan is realistic enough to know he probably can’t match Purton and Moreira over the course of the season, he is still pushing to be the best he can in such a competitive environment.
“Of course the two big guys Zac and Joao will always be there and us behind them have to push and take what they are not able to ride. I’ve still got a lot to improve – they are the people we look up to as young guys. I just hope I continue to get support,” Teetan said.
“This could be a big thing, I really hope that I get onto some nice horses this season. I was very lucky last season to ride some really good horses. It’s a long season and I’m going to keep working hard.
“As soon as I got back I said ‘this could be the toughest season jockey-wise’ and I think it is.
“There are so many good jockeys around. It’s very hard to get good rides. I’m just happy to have a day like this and it will keep my confidence up. I can go to the next meeting feeling good and ready to rock again.”
Of his winners, the horse with the most upside is Francis Lui Kin-wai’s More Than This, who shapes as a likely four-year-old series contestant.
The expensive British import was undefeated in three starts before making the move to Hong Kong and has now strung together back-to-back victories after acclimatising to life in his new home.
More Than This showed his class with an impressive performance in the Class Three Tai Tong Handicap (1,600m).
“He’s got potential but he’s still green. He’s only three years old and I’m very happy he could carry that weight [133 pounds] and win,” Lui said.
“Of course early in the season the field is not that strong but I’m still very happy. My target is the Derby.”