Karis Teetan is the best-performed jockey on the all-weather track this season and he’s looking to keep that good form going at Sha Tin on Wednesday night.
The Mauritian Magician has 11 winners and 17 placings on the dirt – more than Zac Purton (10 and seven) and Joao Moreira (seven and 17) – and he has another full book for the unique card, where six of the races are on the all-weather and two are on the turf.
Teetan is hoping a switch to the dirt will help bring the best out of Divine Era, who has started short in all three of his starts but only has one placing to his credit.
The Jimmy Ting Koon-ho-trained four-year-old has won his past two trials on the surface and his jockey says he is still a work in progress ahead of Wednesday night’s Class Four Ninepin Group Handicap (1,200m).
“He is just not 100 per cent ready yet. He’s being doing a few things wrong this horse so we’ve been working on him and getting him to where he needs to be,” said Teetan, who sits third in the championship race with 59 winners.
“He used to pull and didn’t know how to quicken in a race but we’re getting there slowly but surely. He still needs to learn how to race properly.
“It’s a good option to go back to the dirt, he’s trialled well on it so he should feel more comfortable.”
Teetan also partners Divine Era’s stablemate Man Star in the last race of the night, the consistent four-year-old looking for his second win of the season.
The son of Shooting To Win has made real strides after moving to the dirt four starts back, saluting in February while being beaten less than a length and a quarter in his other three runs.
Having drawn gate one for the Class Three Kat O Handicap (1,200m), Teetan expects to settle in the front half of the field.
“He’s got a nice gate this time and I think that will help him,” he said. “I’ll ride him where he wants. He’s got natural speed so hopefully he’ll put himself in the race.”
Teetan’s most intriguing ride comes on the turf in the Class Three Kau Sai Chau Handicap (1,400m), where he jumps aboard the Tony Millard-prepared Spend.
The Australian import didn’t show much in his debut run but a switch to the South African’s stable seemed to spark some improvement, running on nicely to finish third to boom youngster Courier Wonder a month ago.
“He’s a lovely horse. He got a bit held up on the inside [last start] but it probably helped him because I don’t think he was 100 per cent at his best and he hit the line strongly,” Teetan said.
“He may be a horse who is developing a bit late and the change of stable might have just changed his mind a bit. He’s going very well, he gives you a good feel when you work him and he’s still got a bit to come yet.”