Karis Teetan reached a Hong Kong milestone in race three in Hong Kong’s 2018/19 season finale at Sha Tin yesterday afternoon (Sunday, 14 July), when Have Fun Together became his 300th winner. The 17/1 shot took the Class 4 All You Wish Handicap (1400m) to help himself and trainer Caspar Fownes to a treble apiece.
“It’s so good,” Teetan said, after delivering the four-year-old from last to first to score by a length and a half. “It’s a nice number to get to and it’s been a great season. I’ve been getting a lot of help and I really appreciate it.”
The Mauritian has enjoyed his best campaign. He tallied a single-season personal high of 84 wins to finish third in the premiership and also bagged his first Sha Tin Group 1 on Mr Stunning in the LONGINES Hong Kong Sprint.
“Everything has progressed this season – sometimes you have ups and downs but I’ve worked hard. I didn’t expect the season to be this good. At the start of the season I was given chances on some nice horses and of course Joao wasn’t there then so I had a good start.
“When Joao came back he took a few but I’m not complaining, I’m right behind Joao and Zac and if I can just follow them and pick up some good rides I can look forward,” he added.
Teetan wasn’t on the 300 mark for long: two races later he moved to 301 when Circuit Three foiled the Purton-ridden My Winner by a flashing short-head, and he delivered Happy Sebring right on the line to take race 10, the Class 3 Contentment Handicap (1600m). Tony Cruz trained both winners.
Fownes’ treble was instigated when 35/1 chance Formula Galore took race two, the Class 5 Mr Award Handicap (1200m), under Matthew Chadwick, and race favourite Defining Moment prevailed at odds of 2.9.
“It’s been a very good day,” Fownes said. “I’m very happy about Have Fun Together because he’s a horse that has had a lot of problems. It’s very hard to get those horses to a fit level and maintain that fitness. I knew he’d run well but you can’t be confident that they’re going to stretch out, especially on a firm track.”
Have fun Together and Formula Galore have both benefitted from the facilities at the Jockey Club’s Conghua Racecourse.
“Conghua, seriously, now it’s showing: it’s doing its job really well, it’s freshening up horses, it’s getting horses moving and the tracks are good there,” Fownes said.
Vincent Ho picked up the Tony Cruz Award as the season’s leading homegrown rider but not before wrapping up the season with victory in the last race, the Class 2 Hong Kong Racehorse Owners Association Trophy Handicap (1400m).
Ho delivered the David Hall-trained Fast Most Furious with a raging run to steal the contest close home by a head from Glorious Spectrum. The rider ended the term with 56 wins, his best haul by fully 17 wins, and will fly to England tomorrow to ride out of the Mark Johnston stable.
Trainer Francis Lui and jockey Alfred Chan teamed up to win the Class 3 Sight Winner Handicap (1400m) with More Than This. The 22/1 shot battled along the rail to win by three quarters of a length.