Chris So ended a run of 56 days and 84 runners without a winner, stretching back to 4 December, when Master Albert put his best foot forward in section three of the Class 4 Kennedy Handicap (1200m) at Happy Valley last night (Wednesday, 29 January).
“Finally!” the trainer said. “Over a month with no winner; we have to keep going, that’s racing. Sometimes the draw is no good and things don’t go your way.”
Karis Teetan has stuck with the six-year-old through eight starts this term and has never placed outside the top five, with six top four finishes prior to this evening’s score – the gelding’s second win at start 33.
“This horse has just been knocking on the door, he’s still in good form and we keep going,” So added.
Teetan was in California dreamland as he landed a treble thanks to the Tony Cruz-trained pair California Legend and Californiadeepshot.
The Mauritian punched the air when the latter – a two from two winner at Kembla Grange pre-import – passed the post a length and a half clear in the Class 3 Queen’s Road East Handicap (1200m) for an impressive debut win.
“He’s been trialling good, he’s won both races overseas – I thought it might be tricky with the draw (12) but I had to be very confident, I had to make him understand everything about racing,” Teetan said after Californiadeepshot had surged to the lead, settled into a rhythm and then kicked decisively for the line.
“He’d been to Happy Valley to trial so he knew what to expect, but what surprised me was how quickly he got that rail and that’s what won him the race. Once he got it he switched off underneath me until I needed him to quicken.”
The middle leg of Teetan’s trio came on the tough California Legend (121lb) who set the pace, battled on down the straight and held the late-closing Dionysus Collin (119lb) by half a length to take the Class 4 Oi Kwan Handicap (1800m).