A Happy Valley quartet crowned by exciting young sprinter Howdeepisyourlove’s blistering victory on Wednesday night has fuelled Karis Teetan’s confidence as the Mauritian prepares to chase successive Hong Kong Derby (2000m) victories when he partners Flagship Warrior at Sha Tin on Sunday.
Taking his tally of wins to 35 for the season, Teetan revelled in a dominating spree just four days out from the Hong Kong Derby, which he won last season aboard Romantic Warrior.
Having missed a large portion of the early part of the season because of illness, Teetan was at his vintage best at the city circuit.
“Of course, it’s nice to have a four-timer. I thought I had some decent rides tonight and it’s not often in Hong Kong that you have nights like this when everything goes to plan. It’s good to build some confidence going into an important weekend,” he said.
Teetan, 32, will team with Flagship Warrior for the fourth time, having partnered David Hayes’ young stayer to a spectacular first-up victory over 1200m before finishing 13th in the Hong Kong Classic Mile (1600m) in January and an improved fifth in the Hong Kong Classic Cup (1800m) last month.
“I must say his preparation has gone very well. In the (Hong Kong Classic) Mile, he travelled very hard and he couldn’t finish his race. In the (Hong Kong Classic) Cup, we gave him a chance to finish off and he finished his race really good. If he can pull a draw, it’s going to be a big help with this horse,” he said.
Teetan helped Michael Chang snare his 10th victory of the season when Cable Speed proved too strong in the Class 5 Peng Chau Handicap (1800m). A two-time winner in England for Charlie Hills in 2020, Cable Speed broke through at his 20th Hong Kong start.
The ‘Mauritian Magician’ sealed a race-to-race double aboard John Size’s Raging Blaze, who made it two wins from three starts with victory in the Class 5 Ma Wan Handicap (1200m), before piloting Size stablemate Howdeepisyourlove to an emphatic triumph in the Class 3 Cheung Chau Handicap (1000m).
Teetan completed his streak on Peter Ho’s Wood On Fire in the first section of the Class 4 Lamma Island Handicap (1200m) as Vincent Ho moved to within a win of reaching 500 career victories in Hong Kong with a swooping win on G One Excellent in the Class 4 Ireland Trophy Handicap (1000m) for Danny Shum.
Luke Ferraris delivered a ground-saving ride on David Hall-trained Melbourne Hall to claim the second section of the Class 4 Lamma Island Handicap (1200m) in a promising prelude to Sunday’s Classic with the young South African taking the ride on Hall’s Atullibigeal.
“(Melbourne Hall) is ultra-consistent, he’s a lovely horse – he’s as honest as the day is long and credit to David and his team. I’m grateful for his support,” Ferraris, 21, said before turning his attention to Atullibigeal.
“He’s a nice horse, he’s obviously got his quirks – it doesn’t take a lot for him to over-race, so a lot of things have got to go his way. Let’s see what the draw is like tomorrow, but very happy to be on him.”
In the midst of another bountiful season, Hall praised Melbourne Hall’s consistency after the gelding’s second win this term.
“We know that’s what sort of horse he is – he’s been a consistent 1200m Happy Valley horse. Probably he’ll be remembered for running second to Romantic Warrior at Romantic Warrior’s second start, he won’t make himself too famous but it’s great that he’s been able to get another win,” Hall said.
Hugh Bowman’s strength and timing were pivotal in Villa Fionn’s success in the first section of the Class 4 Green Island Handicap (1650m) and also in Nimble Nimbus’ victory in the Class 3 Ap Lei Chau Handicap (1650m) – both for Ricky Yiu.
Extending a fabulous season, Bowman boosted his haul to 34 wins, while Yiu improved his tally to 39 as Gang Of Brothers slotted a tenacious win for Pierre Ng and Alexis Badel in the second section of the Class 4 Green Island Handicap (1650m).