Karis Teetan is confident he is on track for a return at the Longines Hong Kong International Races after breezing through nine barrier trials at Sha Tin on Tuesday morning.
Sidelined since September 18 with a thyroid condition, Teetan returned to trackwork last week and rode in barrier trials for the first time in more than two months on Tuesday.
“I thought I’d have three or four rides, but everyone kept giving me horses,” Teetan laughed. “It was a bit tough today, and I think I’ll be a bit sore tomorrow morning, but I’m looking forward to getting back into the proper work I was doing before.
“I think international day looks to be a good day to come back. I won’t have anything in the big ones at this moment, but you never know – if I’m there on the day and someone pulls out with Covid, I might get lucky.”
Teetan confirmed doctors have not been able to pinpoint the cause of his overactive thyroid, which resulted in a high heart rate and muscle weakness.
They are continuing to treat him for autoimmune disorder Graves’ disease despite tests coming back negative, while doctors cannot rule out Teetan’s issues being Covid-19 related after he became infected in the off-season.
“They don’t even know what I have, to be honest. The disease they were treating me for, all the tests came back negative,” he said.
“It’s hard for them to say it’s Covid related, so at this moment, we’re treating it like it is [Graves’] disease. Every week, I do a blood test to see how my hormone level is going. Every week, it’s dropping, so that’s a good sign.
“The doctor was like ‘we’re confused, what’s going on?’, but I’m not too stressed about it now. Of course, my health is important, but I’m moving on, and my concern is getting back to racing.”
If Teetan does make it back for December 11’s marquee meeting, it is possible he could find himself riding against the star horse he teamed up with to win last season’s Hong Kong Derby and QE II Cup.
Teetan was trackside to watch Romantic Warrior win Sunday’s Jockey Club Cup at Sha Tin under James McDonald, and the gun Kiwi will again partner Danny Shum Chap-shing’s four-year-old in the Group One Hong Kong Cup.
“I was very happy for the horse to win because I have so much passion for him and we did so well last season, but it was hard to watch,” Teetan admitted.
“Of course, I’m happy for the horse and the connections. Afterwards, James was telling me how good he thinks the horse is.
“It’s going to be hard to watch him on international day, but Danny said after December, I’ll get back on him, so I hope I can.”