Fifty Fifty ready to fire in Chairman’s Trophy

Fifty Fifty wins the G3 Chinese Club Challenge Cup on New Year’s Day. Source: HKJC

Jockey Karis Teetan believes that talented grey Fifty Fifty is in the right frame of mind to produce his best in Sunday’s (8 April) Group 2 Chairman’s Trophy (1600m) after performing strongly in a barrier trial at Sha Tin this morning (Tuesday, 3 April).

The Peter Ho-trained Fifty Fifty has had seven starts this season for four wins, the highlight a Group 3 victory in the Chinese Club Challenge Cup (1400m) in January. However, he had not trialled since finishing third last start to Beauty Generation in the Group 1 Queen’s Silver Jubilee Cup (1400m) on 25 February.

Stepping out in the second heat of the morning at Sha Tin over the straight 1000m with Teetan in the plate, Fifty
Fifty was beaten for speed early and settled a couple of lengths off the leading brigade in the centre of the track. Switched over heels at the 200m, Teetan rode the five-year-old out to the line to finish first past the post with almost a length in hand.

“He felt good,” Teetan said. “Of course, the horse had not trialled or even raced for quite some time so Peter wanted the horse to have a work-out. He’s still a little bit rusty, as you’d expect, but once he got warmed up out there and I pressed him a little bit, he stretched nicely through the line.”

On Sunday, Fifty Fifty meets a number of Hong Kong’s best milers, including Group 1 winners Beauty Generation, Beauty Only and Helene Paragon, all with eyes on the Group 1 Champions Mile on 29 April. Also in the Chairman’s Trophy line-up are trainer Tony Cruz’s multiple Group 1 winner Time Warp and his quirky stablemate Pakistan Star, who are gearing up for the Group 1 Audemars Piguet QEII Cup (2000m) on the last Sunday in April.

“He’s run with a lot of these horses before and he’s run well with them, so I expect him to be around the mark on Sunday,” Teetan said. “I’ve liked him from the beginning and he’s a really smart horse going forward. He’ll go well on Sunday, but I think he’ll be even better come the Champions Mile.

“He’s a type of horse who is good fresh. When he won first-up this season, he hadn’t had much work, Peter went in without a trial, but he’s also the type who doesn’t do much if he doesn’t have to. So I think today’s trial was about getting his mind focused on the job ahead of Sunday and I think it’s worked. He felt good, he felt fresh, so I’m very happy.”

Also among the 10 entries for the HK$4m Chairman’s Trophy are Group 1 place-getters Joyful Trinity and Western Express, his John Size-trained stablemate Dinozzo and Pingwu Spark.

The 1600m feature is one of two Group 2 races on Sunday, with the other highlight the Group 2 Sprint Cup (1200m), which acts as the premier lead-up to the Group 1 Chairman’s Sprint Prize (1200m) on 29 April. Among the entries for the Sprint Cup are the Size-trained trio of Mr Stunning, Amazing Kids and Beat The Clock.

Fields for the two features, and for every race on 10-event card at Sha Tin on Sunday, will be released on Thursday morning (5 April).

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