International Jockeys’ Championship winner Karis Teetan will return to Happy Valley on Wednesday night with a distinctively different feeling to that of a week ago.
The Mauritian jockey was the star of the show, carrying the weight of expectations to take out the title along with the HK$500,000 first prize, but he expects his triumph to have a long-lasting effect on his riding at the city track.
Competing against the likes of Ryan Moore and Frankie Dettori, Teetan said he had hoped to have picked up some of their skills on the track to make him an even better rider.
“Even watching Ryan and Frankie riding here we’ll pick up a few things and let’s hope it can help me in the future,” he said.
Teetan has a full book of nine rides on the night, as he looks to fend off a challenge from top local jockey Vincent Ho Chak-yiu for third place on the championship table.
He currently enjoys a three-win buffer on Ho, who also won a race in the IJC and joked he had to pinch himself a few times during the night.
“It’s amazing riding against the world’s top jockeys like Frankie Dettori and Ryan Moore. Normally I have to watch them on television,” he said.
Returning to Happy Valley on Wednesday night, Teetan will ride the likes of Danny Shum Chap-shing’s Winning Method, Dennis Yip Chor-hong’s Casimiro and La Bomba for in-form trainer Douglas Whyte.
Teetan will have to quickly put last week’s success in the back of his mind, with normal service set to be resumed in the run into the first corner.
He noted how different the racing pattern was in the four IJC races last week with a field of world-class jockeys compared to the week-in week-out group that call it home.
“We ride here every week and I was saying to the guys it’s a different type of racing when you’re there racing with these guys,” he said. “The atmosphere is different, the guys are so quiet, there’s no yelling.”
Teetan will be hoping to get the best out of the enigmatic Winning Method who has strong form behind subsequent Group One-placed Aethero as a two-year-old.
Now three, Winning Method lines up in the Class Three Sand Martin Handicap (1,000m) where he will have the opportunity to showcase his blazing speed.
It is the first time Teetan has ridden the two-time winner since his debut run when Aethero won by two lengths.
After racing poorly earlier this season, Winning Method showed punters a glimpse of his best work in his first start at Happy Valley last month under jockey Grant van Niekerk.
He will come up against impressive last-start winner Special Stars however who is looking to string back-to-back wins together for the first time in his career.
Ridden by man of the moment Joao Moreira, Special Stars is set to get a saloon passage in running from barrier two.