Karis Teetan excited to partner Young Champion

Young Champion
Young Champion scores under James McDonald.

Aiming to consolidate an already strong season, Karis Teetan is excited at the opportunity to ride Young Champion for the first time at Sha Tin on Saturday.

Ridden at his first two Hong Kong starts by James McDonald for a second and a last-start victory over 1400m on 25 February, Young Champion rises from Class 3 and will start from barrier nine in a field of 11.

“He looks like a really promising horse, he’s done everything right so far. Thanks to Mr Size for the opportunity, he’s a lovely horse to get on and also he goes into the race with a nice weight (116lb) on his back,” the Mauritian said of Young Champion.

“It’s a nice race for him. I’ve watched his trials and his races and it looks like he’s done everything right so far.”

Young Champion faces 10 rivals headed by The Golden Scenery (135lb), Fantastic Treasure (129lb), Flaming Rabbit (126lb), Keefy (122lb), Dancing Code (121lb), Blue Marlin (118lb), Find My Love (118lb), Lucky Encounter (117lb), Supreme Lucky (117lb) and I Give (115lb).

Formerly known as Sharlouk when trained by Johnny Murtagh in Ireland, Young Champion won a maiden and was runner-up in Listed company at Naas over 1400m.

Harry Bentley will attempt to thwart Young Champion’s advance when he takes over on Blue Marlin from Hugh Bowman, who cannot make the weight after piloting the gelding to victory over this course and distance on March 3.

“He (Young Marlin) is obviously a horse that’s been progressing nicely all the way through Class 3. He’s got a light weight on his back, he’s a very big horse so he’s going to feel like he’s loose,” Bentley said.

“The fact we’ve got a nice draw (barrier two) as well is very important for him. Obviously, he’s going to have to contend with a step up in class, but I’m really looking forward to seeing how he’s going to handle the challenge and I certainly think he’s up to it.

“He’s done nothing but improve, Douggie (trainer Douglas Whyte) has done a really good job with him. He’s not been the most straight-forward in the past, but he’s going the right way and he’s putting it all together.”

Pierre Ng’s I Give will bid for a seventh win this season from barrier six for Angus Chung and, if successful, would be only one victory shy of the record jointly held by Beauty Generation and Lucky Sweynesse of eight wins in a single season.

Straight Arron has completed preparations for a Group 1 Dubai Turf (1800m) tilt at Meydan Racecourse on March 30 with a soft 1700m trial win under Bowman at Happy Valley.

“Very happy with the trial. Just brought him here to Happy Valley for a day out. It’s his final ‘prep’ for his race in Dubai, he seems to be in good order,” trainer Caspar Fownes said.

“Hugh was very happy with him, very complimentary about him so, full steam ahead and we’re looking forward to going to Dubai and seeing how we go.”

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