Karis Teetan will reunite with more than one last-start winner on Wednesday’s (15 January) nine-race card at Happy Valley. He rides Highly Proactive (132lb) in the finale, the Class 3 Chater Handicap (1200m), and partners Flying Genius (121lb) in the Class 3 Connaught Handicap (1000m). The Tony Cruz-trained Flying Genius is looking to remain unbeaten at the Valley as he attempts to secure a hat-trick at only his fourth appearance.
The All Too Hard gelding has shot 16 points up the ratings since his first win at the city course back in December. That was on International Jockeys’ Championship night with Ryan Moore in the plate and he followed that score when making all from barrier 12 under Teetan.
“I wasn’t surprised as his win before that was very good. He’s a horse with a little bit of speed, he can cross the field and I think he’s a decent little horse,” Teetan said.
The Australian-bred three-year-old faces the difficult task of Class 3 for the first time.
“He’s got a good draw, he’s got good speed. I don’t think we’ll be changing his habits and let’s hope he can do it again,” the 29 year-old said.
“He’s shown his quality in Class 4 carrying big weights, so you’d think now going into Class 3 with his speed (he’d cope) and he also handles the Valley well.”
His challengers include the Richard Gibson-trained Heart Conquered (133lb), who steps out for the second time in Hong Kong following a debut third behind Voyage Warrior over 1000m at Sha Tin.
The four-year-old sports the famous gold and red silks of Pan Sutong who also raced the gelding’s sire Akeed Mofeed – winner of the Group 1 LONGINES Hong Kong Cup and BMW Hong Kong Derby under Gibson’s handling.
“He’s a good physical; he’s just like his dad, he’s a strong-bodied horse, and he has plenty of speed,” Gibson said.
“He’s a very straightforward horse – he’s pretty bulletproof, to be honest. He had the ability in Australia and it was good to see him run well on debut here.”
Heart Conquered won five times in Australia across three states when under the care of Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes. He won at Morphettville as a juvenile before advancing further at three to win at Ballarat, Kensington and twice at Warwick Farm. The gelding closed out his career Down Under with a fifth-place finish in the Group 3 John Monash Stakes at Caulfield (1100m).
“I think he’s probably better on a turn; the race has probably come up a bit quick for us, it’s the way the programme goes, but he goes there in good form and he’s drawn a gate so he’ll have a decent shout,” his handler said.
“I’m still learning about the horse but at the moment I’d prefer to put him over 1000 (metres) and that’s why we’ve chosen this race.”