Karis Teetan continued his strong start to the 2020/21 racing season with a winning treble at Sha Tin on Sunday which was completed with victory aboard impressive juvenile, Lucky Express in the Class 2 Hwamei Handicap over 1200m.
Although winless at the two previous meetings, Teetan had already bagged eight wins and today added three more to skip into second on the jockeys’ premiership table.
“You never know coming into the day – I thought I had ok rides but it’s nice after two meetings blank to bounce back with a treble – especially on some nice horses,” Teetan said.
Teetan wrapped up his three-timer with a barnstorming victory aboard Lucky Express, the Toronado gelding rattling over the top to score by 0.75 lengths but Teetan didn’t expect to have a ride in the race, let alone partner the winner.
“I had no ride in the race so when Mr Size sent me a message, I confirmed it straight away,” Teetan said, “the way he was running last season he looked like he was going to get better and I appreciate Mr Size’s support – it’s nice to sit on a horse like that.”
The Australian-bred arrived in Hong Kong with two wins from three starts in Australia, amassing an eye-catching AU$681,250 in the process (approx. HK$3.8 million) when previously known as Prince Of Sussex.
Teetan kicked off his treble with victory aboard California Concord in the Class 3 Magpie Handicap (1200m, dirt).
“I thought from the wide gate we had to work all-the-way because the way the track was playing; any other horse caught four-wide would have thrown the towel in but he kept on fighting nicely,” Teetan said of the Tony Cruz-trained galloper.
Teetan grabbed his second win of the day aboard Big Fortune in the Class 3 Lark Handicap (1200m) for trainer Douglas Whyte.
Trainer Tony Millard further improved his already excellent record with acquisitions from other stables when Galactic took the Class 4 Shrike Handicap (1200m) under Antoine Hamelin.
“He’s a very nice horse, he just lacked a bit of confidence and he just needed a bit of time,” Millard said.
The handler and jockey combine for the second time this season following the success of Prince Of Gems at the season-opening fixture, also a stable transfer.
“He’s a big lanky type of horse and with those type of horses you have to be careful you don’t get them too fat but as long as their muscle to weight ratio is good then you have a chance,” Millard said.
Earlier on the program, apprentice Matthew Poon got off the mark for the new season with victory for his master, David Hall aboard Charge On in the Class 4 Swallow Handicap (1400m).
“It was close, I think he isn’t 100 per cent fit – he got tired at the end but he finished off really well and managed to hold on,” Poon said, “the good draw helped him a lot – he’s still young so he can keep improving. I believe he has plenty of ability.”
Bella Baby grabbed the opener for Neil Callan and Chris So, the Class 5 Tailorbird Handicap; while Hong Kong’s champion jockey Zac Purton took the second of the Class 5 contests, the Woodpecker Handicap (1400m), aboard Super Winner for Dennis Yip.
Trainer Richard Gibson notched his third win this season as he took the first dirt race on the card, the Class 4 Sunbird Handicap (1200m) thanks to a well-judged front-running ride from apprentice Jerry Chau aboard Blotting Paper, who sports silks made famous by 2012 W.S Cox Plate winner Ocean Park.
Hong Kong racing continues at Sha Tin on Thursday, 1 October, and features the Grade 3 National Day Cup over 1000m. – Hong Kong Jockey Club