With championship chasers Joao Moreira and Zac Purton out of luck, it was left to Hong Kong’s number-three jockey Karis Teetan to take the riding honours with a double at Happy Valley on Tuesday night.
Teetan may be nearly 60 winners behind Moreira and Purton but he is now 23 clear of the fourth-placed Matthew Chadwick and up to 72 for the season after his brace.
“It’s nice to have a double, it’s been a long season and [we’re] towards the end now with only a few meetings left,” Teetan said. “A double gives you a little extra kick to finish the season off.
“Without the support of the owners and trainers, it’s not easy. I have to thank them a lot and hope it will continue.”
Teetan was first on the mark when Dragon Kingdom landed the first section of the Class Four Rumsey Handicap (1,200m).
The four-year-old won this race at the start – stealing a couple of lengths over his rivals with a quick break – and he never relinquished his lead, with his winning margin a length over the fast-finishing Durham Star, who ran a good race from a tough draw in stall 12.
Teetan was back in the winner’s enclosure just half an hour later when Baby came with a strong late finish to win section two of the Class Four Hollywood Handicap (1,650m).
Holding a good position just behind the speed for much of the way, Jimmy Ting Koon-ho’s runner came with a strong late finish to run down Purton aboard E Legend inside the final 100m.
This was Baby’s first win of the campaign but his fourth in all for Ting, who is now up to 29 winners for the season, just two behind last term’s total.
Elsewhere on the night, Frankie Lor Fu-chuen continued the charge towards his first trainers’ championship when My Ecstatic ran out an easy winner of the Class Three Jervois Handicap (1,650m).
Another winner to make all the running, My Ecstatic has now won three of his past four races after stepping up in distance this season and he will work his way up to the verge of Class Two company following this victory.
My Ecstatic was ridden by Derek Leung Ka-chun, who is hanging onto the coattails of Chadwick and Vincent Ho Chak-yiu in the race to win the Tony Cruz Award for leading local jockey.
All three of the contenders were on the board last night, with Chadwick maintaining his three-win lead over Ho thanks to Owners’ Star’s victory in the Class Five Wing Lok Handicap (1,800m).
It had been a long time between drinks for Chris So Wai-yin’s runner, with his last win coming in October 2019 under Neil Callan.
Ho struck on one of the most promising winners on the card when You’remyeverything continued his progression with a fine win in the Class Three Hillier Handicap (1,200m).
The Tony Cruz-trained galloper ran on strongly under Ho, sailing up the inside to win by half a length and pick up his third win at only his seventh Hong Kong start.
That result will take him into Class Two company and he looks a type to keep a close eye on next season.
Gorgeous Vitality was sent off a heavily-backed favourite for the closing Class Three Cleverly Handicap (1,000m) but never threatened, finishing fourth to the impressive Equaletta Blitz, who followed up his recent success with another big win.