Bang-in-form Teetan snares a Valley treble
The Mauritian jockey has taken his season's tally in Hong Kong to 29 winners
Fresh from his spotlight with his Longines International Jockeys' Championship triumph at Happy Valley two weeks ago, jockey Karis Teetan sparkled again with a treble at the city track on Wednesday night.
The Mauritian rider drew on a mix of seasoned savvy, determined physicality and buoyant confidence to notch his eighth, ninth and 10th wins for the month, taking his tally for the term to 29.
"It's pretty good," said Teetan. "You always have to work hard in this place if you want to keep riding the winners and that's what I always plan to do."
The three-timer was all the more laudable for the fact that two of his wins came from the outside draw, gate 12, a disadvantage on the C+3 course when the rail is positioned at its farthest point from the inner.
"Going into the race, I thought maybe I could get across but he was a bit out at the first turn," said Teetan, after sealing the treble on Highly Proactive.
The four-year-old shrugged off inexperience and a wide passage to take the Class 3 Venus Handicap over 1,200m by three quarter lengths at only his third Hong Kong start.
"I was trying not to do too much early but I had four horses to my inside that I had to cross. I had to just work that extra little bit and I was surprised that this horse kept on finding into the straight.
"He's a tough little horse. It was a very good win, so hopefully, he can improve on this."
The Francis Lui-trained gelding arrived with a record of two from two in New Zealand, having been sourced by the handler's retired former stable apprentice Kei Chiong.
"Kei bought the horse. Somebody recommended it and she's friends with the owner," Lui said. "The horse was drawn 12, he was caught wide, but he can run."
Flying Genius proved his ability to run too when defying top-weight and the wide starting berth in the Class 4 Jupiter Handicap over 1,000m.
No horse this season had managed to make the top three from barrier 12 over 1,000m on the C+3 course until Teetan produced a slick ride.
The Tony Cruz-trained three-year-old had pace enough to overcome the wide gate inconvenience, crossing to the lead and quickening to an impressive second win at his third start.
Teetan and Cruz combined again when California Turbo broke his Hong Kong maiden in the Class 4 Venus Handicap over 1,200m.
The Conghua-based five-year-old, a three-time winner in Australia where he was Group 3-placed over 2,000m, lifted late under a vigorous ride to deny topweight Red Desert.
Big Party, who looked a potential star last season with three promising wins from six starts, stepped up on a decent first-up fifth in a hot field last month to score an imposing success in the evening's finale, the Class 2 Mercury Handicap over 1,200m.
"I always had a very high opinion about this horse even though I'd never ridden him before," said jockey Joao Moreira, after the grey had clocked a fast 1min 08.64sec with his comfortable 11/2-length success. - HKJC