The early expectations on Master Eight were immense and this Sunday Karis Teetan hopes the speedster can draw out his best form and feel right at home when he lines up in the HK$12 million Group 1 Centenary Sprint Cup (1200m) at Sha Tin.
The winner of his first five races – capped with victory in the 2022 Group 3 Bauhinia Sprint Trophy Handicap (1000m) – Master Eight has now gone 12 months without a win and this season he is yet to place across four outings, with his best effort returning a competitive fourth in last October’s Group 2 Premier Bowl Handicap (1200m).
This weekend’s Centenary Sprint Cup will see plenty that raced in October’s dash, led by Wellington and Lucky Sweynesse as well as Sight Success – who has improved out of sight, narrowly missing in December’s Group 1 Hong Kong Sprint (1200m) before defying Rewarding Together and Sky Field in last month’s Bauhinia Sprint Trophy.
“It seems like he’s (Master Eight) feeling good again, he just needs to get his form back. I know he has the ability and he just needs to get the confidence back and once he does that he’ll be right up there with them again,” Teetan said.
Ahead of this Sunday, Master Eight – still only a five-year-old – made all in a recent barrier trial over 1200m on dirt at Sha Tin. The chestnut cruised to a four length first-past-the-post effort in 1m 09.97s under Teetan.
“He’s feeling good, I think the trial will bring him a bit of confidence. I know he can do it, he just needs to bring it to the races and of course, it’s a competitive and small field. If he gets some luck in the run then I think he can be competitive,” Teetan said.
Teetan and Lor are no stranger to big-race success together following the heroics of Mr Stunning, who won the 2018 Hong Kong Sprint and 2020 Group 1 Chairman’s Sprint Prize (1200m) for the duo.
“I remember speaking to Joao (Moreira) and he was very bullish about this horse (Master Eight). I think the horse has the ability, he just needs to find his way again to where he started but it’s going to be a tough race, especially with the two big horses (Wellington and Lucky Sweynesse) but if he gets his run he might earn some prize money,” Teetan said.
Sky Field, Super Wealthy, Courier Wonder and Duke Wai are also entered this weekend.