Hong Kong stewards broke new ground at Sha Tin on Sunday, dishing out the first whip suspension for strikes “forward of the saddle” to jockey Karis Teetan.
Teetan was found to have struck both Will Power and Lakeshore Eagle several times down the front shoulder after being fined four times previously for the offence.
The Mauritian will serve a one-meeting ban on March 25, the first of its kind in Hong Kong, chief steward Kim Kelly confirmed.
“Teetan was charged with having used his whip in an improper manner in that he used his whip forward of the saddle, down the horses shoulder on a number of occasions in both races,” Kelly said.
“The stewards rule that both periods of suspension be served concurrently.
“In assessing this manner, the stewards took into consideration that Teetan had been fined on four occasions for riding in a similar manner in using his whip down the horses shoulder on repeated occasions.”
While Hong Kong jockeys are not limited in the amount of times they can strike a horse, any hits forward of the saddle are not permitted.
Jockeys have been previously fined this season for dropping their whips or leaving marks when hitting their mounts.
It capped off a roller-coaster day for Teetan, who booted home a treble (including Will Power and Lakeshore Eagle along with President’s Choice) and will now miss the next two meetings thanks to a previous suspension.
Jockey Joao Moreira also cost himself HK$5,000 on Sunday for the same thing when riding the Frankie Lor Fu-chuen-trained Jade Phoenix in the Class Four Siu Ho Wan Handicap (1,200m). It is the first time Moreira has been charged with the offence.
Milestone day for Purton, Leung
Champion jockey Zac Purton says the finish line on his Hong Kong career is a long way away after notching up yet another milestone at Sha Tin on Sunday.
Purton’s victory on Danny Shum Chap-shing’s Lucky More marked his 1,100th in Hong Kong and he is looking for several hundred more before his time is done.
“It’s a nice number to get there, to ride one winner in Hong Kong is incredibly difficult,” the 37-year-old said.
“We are still a long way from the finish line so at the moment it is just a number. It was good to win my 1,100th on one of Danny’s horses, he has been such a good supporter.”
Purton earmarked Lucky More as a horse for the future with the three-year-old colt managing to overcome significant handicap obstacles in his short time in Hong Kong.
“It is because he travels so well and promises so much but delivers half as much at the moment,” he said. “He is a young horse and Danny has done a good job with him so I think we will see a better horse next season.”
The milestones did not stop there, with Derek Leung Ka-chun landing his 300th career winner before declaring he won’t be resting on his laurels after reaching the mark.
“I hope I can have more winners, maybe another 300,” he said.
Leung, who now has 17 winners for the season, says the triple century has been on his radar in recent weeks.
“I knew over the last few meetings because a couple of reporters told me if I got two or three more winners, I would get to 300,” he said. “I was pretty excited, to be honest, I couldn’t wait for it and today it was the target.”
Leung took Charge On back to last from barrier 13 in the first section of the Class Four Tung Chung Handicap (1,400m) before unleashing the three-year-old down the middle of the track.
It was the David Hall-trained gelding’s first win at start four after going unplaced three times over six furlongs, once on each track.
“He stepped up to 1,400m and it suited him a lot, I think he will go even further,” Leung said. “The blinkers helped him a lot.
“You can see because of the draw we had to take him back and at the 600m the horse in front of me couldn’t bring me into the race, so I had to make the decision to come out earlier than I wanted to.”
Leadingstar douses Derby hopefuls
After a frustrating start to his career at Sha Tin, Helene Leadingstar finally snared his first win in his new home as he upstaged some Hong Kong Derby hopefuls in the Class Two Mui Wo Handicap (1,800m).
The race is the final lead-up for horses launching a late bid for the HK$20 million feature, but Reliable Team and Winning Delight did nothing to enhance their Derby ambitions as they finished midfield. And the highly rated Beauty Legacy might not even make it there, dropping out to come 11th after pulling hard again.
Instead it was one of last year’s Derby disappointments (he came ninth) who shone through as Vincent Ho Chak-yiu lifted the Tony Cruz-trained gelding home to beat Enrichment and High Rev.
Helene Leadingstar, who was sold to Hong Kong after winning the Group One South Australian Derby in 2018, now has one win and four placings from 15 starts in Hong Kong.
Part of the interview with Lyle Hewitson after his first winner on the JRA.— G (@LongBallToNoOne) March 7, 2020
He is after the Almond Eye ride, Christophe seemed to take it well :) pic.twitter.com/19svpB7JZJ
Japan agrees with Hewitson
Lyle Hewitson has made a flying start to his two-month stint in Japan, matching his output from six months in Hong Kong on his first weekend of riding in the Land of the Rising Sun.
After finishing in Hong Kong on March 1, the South African was back in the saddle at Nakayama on Saturday and saluted aboard Masahaya Nice with just his fourth ride.
That success laid the foundations for a prolific Sunday in the saddle, again at Nakayama, with the 22-year-old winning aboard Le Conte Bleu and Schedar and placing on Hayayakko and Authority.
That leaves Hewitson with three winners from 14 rides so far in Japan, the same win tally he managed from 251 rides during his time at Sha Tin.