The finishing line in last year’s BMW Hong Kong Derby came about three strides too soon for Karis Teetan, who missed out on winning the city’s biggest race by a head aboard Russian Emperor.

A year on and Teetan still looks back on that race with a sense of regret but he is looking forward to banishing those memories with victory aboard Romantic Warrior in this year’s contest.

“Last year, I just got beat in the Derby and that was a very hard time,” Teetan said. “It’s not easy to run second as it’s a race that every trainer, jockey and owner wants to win.

“It means a lot to everyone and it’s something I’ve wanted to win ever since I got to Hong Kong so having a chance again this year on Romantic Warrior means a lot.”

Romantic Warrior extended his unbeaten record to five when saluting in the Classic Mile, the first leg of the four-year-old series, but his winning streak came to an end after he was trapped wide without cover for most of the Classic Cup before staying on late to finish fourth behind California Spangle.

The Mauritian rider is keen to draw a line through that luckless run but will still use it to inform his tactics in this Sunday’s big race.

“Going into the race we always knew that it was going to be hard from that draw in stall 13,” Teetan said.

“He had never been chased into a race before and he’s not the type of horse to be chased too hard all the way. He needs to be left alone to finish well.

“When I was caught wide, it was either keep pushing forward and working all the way to get him in a handy position or bite the bullet and stay there.

“With all that happened, I thought the horse ran a great race and we learned a lot. He has some speed out of the gate, and I think we can maybe now use him to get in a better early position as we know that he’s got a nice turn of foot and we know where the dangers will be.

“We have a horse who is progressing nicely, I’ve done a grass gallop on him and he’s in good shape. I would like to go out there and ride him with full-on confidence and focus on trying to win the race for the owners and [trainer] Danny [Shum Chap-shing].”

Confidence is the one thing that Teetan will not lack as he comes off the back of a sparkling four-timer at Sha Tin last week, with those wins taking his seasonal tally to 46.

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“It’s been going well these last few weeks, I was already riding with confidence but last weekend has given me even more,” Teetan said.

“It’s been great since my injury has got better. Things are looking good, things are positive and I have time to prepare myself well. I’m just in a happy moment and I look forward to the big day.”

Romantic Warrior is not the only chance Teetan has of saluting on Sunday and he looks well placed aboard Lucky With You in the closing Class Two Rapper Dragon Handicap (1,200m).

The David Hayes-trained four-year-old failed to stay the 1,600m trip in the Classic Mile but has won three times and finished second in his four starts over this trip. A confirmed front-runner, he holds every chance but will need to overcome a difficult draw in stall 12.