It is starting to feel as if top jockey Karis Teetan has never been away.
On Wednesday night at Happy Valley, when Zac Purton was presented with an award for registering his 1,500th Hong Kong win at Sha Tin on Saturday afternoon, Teetan stole the riding honours with his first treble since September 18 – his final meeting before being forced to sit on the sidelines for nearly three months with a thyroid condition.
Teetan’s three-timer included his biggest victory since returning when Frankie Lor Fu-chuen’s Looking Great surprised some better-fancied rivals to win the Class Two Chek Keng Handicap (2,200m) after he was given a superb ride by the Mauritian jockey, who saved ground for most of the way before switching wide to win by a neck.
“It was lovely,” Teetan said. “First, I want to say thanks to Frankie. He gave me a few horses when I came back, he rang me up and offered me a few, so thanks to his connections and owners.
“We had a sweet run tonight from the draw. He had no weight on his back, his trial before his race was good, so all credit to the trainer.
“We just had to sit and wait, but he ran a good race, and he didn’t stop all the way through the line.”
Lor was pleased with the performance of his six-year-old, and he is eyeing his next target.
“This was his first win at Happy Valley,” Lor said. “He’s always better when he gets some cover, and last time he had to race by himself.
“I haven’t looked at the programme, but I’m thinking of the January Cup over 1,800m for him next.”
Teetan had to be at his strongest to conjure a superb late run aboard Caspar Fownes-trained Perfect To Great to win the second section of the Class Four Tai Long Tsui Handicap (1,650m).
Fownes was delighted with Teetan’s ride as his six-year-old finally got his head in front for the first time in 30 starts in the city.
“He’s been a frustrating horse, so I need to thank the owners very much for their patience, and Karis for his good ride and getting a tough horse to win,” Fownes said.
Check the ride! @KarisTeetan skims the rail and Lean Hero delivers. That's Maurice's first win as a sire in Hong Kong... @lindsayparkrace #モーリス 🎌 | #HappyWednesday | #HKracing pic.twitter.com/aaFtXfLDuU— HKJC Racing (@HKJC_Racing) December 28, 2022
Teetan brought up his treble on improving three-year-old Lean Hero, who hugged the rail and stayed on strongly to win the first section of the Class Four Tai Long Tsui Handicap (1,650m) for David Hayes.
There was late drama on the card when California Cible, who was first past the post in the Class Three Long Ke Handicap (1,200m), was disqualified for causing repeated interference to runner-up Humble Star.
Apprentice Angus Chung Yik-lai was unable to keep his mount straight, and the decision to reverse the placings seemed a formality after an inquiry was called and Humble Star’s rider, Jerry Chau Chun-lok, lodged an objection to the result.