Karis Teetan is off to the best start of his Hong Kong career and it looks like there are more winners on the horizon with the talented Mauritian taking a strong book of eight rides into Wednesday night’s Happy Valley meeting.
Entering his ninth season in the jurisdiction, Teetan was in exceptional form at Sha Tin on Sunday, lifting Naboo Attack to victory in the Class One HKSAR Chief Executive’s Cup before steering Ezra and Star Performance home to cap off a terrific afternoon.
The treble is clearly his biggest-ever haul for the opening meeting and it bodes well for the man who has established himself as one of the most reliable riders in Hong Kong with hauls of 79, 93 and 84 winners over the past three seasons.
“It was lovely to start like that. I thought I had OK rides but you never know how things will turn out for the first meeting,” Teetan said. “With some luck in running I knew they could perform well but I wasn’t expecting three winners on a day.
“I’ve got a few small chances [on Wednesday night] and it will be nice to get the ball rolling at the Valley.”
Of his team of eight, the 31-year-old selects the Peter Ho Leung-trained Chunghwa Jingshen as the best, the five-year-old lining up in the Class Five Big Wave Bay Handicap (1,000m) after finishing last season with back-to-back seconds.
The outside barrier is the only concern, but he’s likely to push forward after an impressive trial last week where he led all the way.
“I think Chunghwa Jingshen stands out because of the way he trialled,” Teetan said. “His last run at the Valley, he could’ve won but the leader got away. He’s the one that stands out.”
The Me Tsui Yu-sak-trained Shanghai Power looks the biggest danger, coming off a last-start victory and an impressive barrier trial. He also gets a significant jockey change with Joao Moreira taking over from Victor Wong Chun.
The other horse to really pique Teetan’s interest is Flaming Passion from the Frankie Lor Fu-chuen yard, who lines up in the Class Four Middle Bay Handicap (1,000m).
The son of Headwater was knocking on the door at stages last season but with that experience and a stint at Conghua under his belt, the four-year-old – who clearly has some ability – can put his best foot forward.
“I think Flaming Passion should be a better horse this season. It was a disaster with him last season because we were trying to understand how to ride him,” Teetan said.
“We tried to ride him on the speed and he was just travelling a little too keen. Now we know what he’s like and what we want with him. I think the good draw [two] should help him and I think he’ll run a good race.
“I don’t think he’s the type of horse who can just jump and run, once he settles down and is not under too much pressure early, that will really suit him.”
The race looks to be the most competitive on the card with untapped youngsters like Infinity Win (Zac Purton) and Party Warrior (Vincent Ho Chak-yiu) coming up against proven performers like Joyful Win (Harry Bentley) and Jazz Steed (Moreira).
Teetan also jumps aboard Wood On Fire, Yoo Yoo King, Red Majesty, Gallant Crown, Telecom Smart and Telecom Rocket.