Career high not enough for hungry Teetan

Karis Teetan
Karis Teetan celebrates victory aboard Mr Stunning at HKIR in December.

Zac Purton stole the show at Sha Tin on Sunday, much as he has done all season long, but he is not the only rider enjoying a sweet run of form this term, Karis Teetan is enjoying a dream campaign too.

“This has been my greatest season ever,” Teetan said ahead of Wednesday’s (29 May) Happy Valley fixture. “I have been riding some really nice horses this season for good stables, so that always helps, when you get the right horses and opportunities.”

The Mauritian has 75 wins on the board, 23 more than the 52 he tallied in the 2017/18 season – his previous best – and enough to sit second place in the premiership, albeit 57 behind Purton.

“I take every race meeting seriously and try to ride winners all the time, but just being behind Zac and around Joao (Moreira) is a good feeling, knowing I have a chance on some horses to compete against jockeys like that,” he said.

Teetan’s first Hong Kong win came at his first ride back in September 2013, saluting aboard Amazing Always for David Ferraris. Since then, the Mauritian has added a further 292 wins to his rising score.

The 29-year-old light-weight rider has thrived in Hong Kong’s tough environment and claimed his first Hong Kong Group 1 win on Mr Stunning in the LONGINES Hong Kong Sprint in December.

“You always try to improve yourself and look for better things, I’m going to just keep on pushing and try to get the best rides; of course, Zac is pretty strong on getting many good rides, but I’m still young and I’m going to have to fight and I just like the competition,” he said.

Teetan will attempt to hold second spot in the premiership ahead of a late season drive from Moreira and has a book of eight midweek rides including Clement Legend (129lb) in the Class 4 Lam Tsuen River Handicap (2200m), a horse he guided to four consecutive wins earlier this term.

“I think the freshen-up has done him good, he’s in much better condition now, I’m looking forward to riding him,” he said.

Trainer Danny Shum has spaced Clement Legend’s runs since concluding his win streak in February, racing only twice since with his latest effort coming over 1800m at Sha Tin in late April.

“He got to a mark where he was just struggling and his form was not at his best,” Teetan said. “I worked him last week and I feel like he’s come back to form again. He’s not a difficult horse to ride, you just have to leave him where he is comfortable, but he just doesn’t like a slow pace, he will not be able to quicken up from a slow pace.

“The long races can be funny sometimes, especially at Happy Valley where they will go slow and something normally takes off, but of course if nothing goes then he will have to do it.”

Teetan will partner the Frankie Lor-trained Coby Oppa (124lb) in the Class 3 Tan Shan River Handicap (1200m) as the two-time winner on dirt seeks a maiden turf success. The gelding was fourth at the course and distance three runs back.

“I don’t think he’s just a dirt horse I think he can handle the turf,” he said. “I think the time he ran at Happy Valley where he finished pretty close, he was very green, he just didn’t know the course.

“I feel the horse has improved already and going back to Happy Valley this time will be much better,” he added.

Teetan will be looking to go back-to-back on the Tony Cruz-trained Hong Kong Bet (131lb) in the Class 3 Nam Chung River Handicap (1000m).

“I think he has a bright future in front of him, he has improved a lot from the time I have been riding, so I would expect him to have improved again from last time,” he said of the thrice-raced three-year-old.