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Karis Teetan dominates at Happy Valley with a four-timer as Me Tsui chimes in with a treble

June 10, 2021, 11:27:48 AM

A late-season cameo by Karis Teetan highlighted a rain-soaked Happy Valley meeting on Wednesday night (9 June), as the 'Mauritian Magician' produced a four-timer, while Me Tsui reveled in a triple, capped by Harmony And Rich's victory in the Class 2 Castle Peak Bay Handicap (1000m).

Teetan dominated the competition with a double for Tsui (Happy Tango and Telecom Smart), as well as teaming up with David Hayes (Red Majesty) and Caspar Fownes (Sky Gem) to bring his season total to 72 victories.

Tsui's decision to compete in Class 2 for the first time with Harmony And Rich was rewarded as the track and distance expert surged through under Matthew Chadwick in 56.66s to earn a HK$1 million High Achievement Bonus on top of the HK$1.254 million winners' payout.

Owners of horses with a minimum rating of 80 who win a Class 2 race or higher before the age of five are eligible for the incentive.

The I Am Invincible four-year-old has won three of his last four outings at Happy Valley over the 1000m sprint, all with Chadwick in the saddle.

“He has shocked me a little. I felt he had a chance, but not like that. The jockey's riding style aided the horse much. He simply got moving early and didn't bother about anyone else — the horse responded positively to this. It gives the horse confidence,” Tsui commented, clearly pleased with his first triple since October 2018.

“It's extremely good — I only get one or two a season.”

Teetan was overjoyed with his midweek haul, which matched his quartet at the city circuit on 8 April and cemented his third spot in the jockeys' championship behind Joao Moreira (138) and Zac Purton (117).

“It's simply one of those evenings when everything falls into place. “It's been a long season, and it's not finished yet, but it's wonderful to have a four-timer,” he added. “You have to cherish these evenings because they don't come around very frequently. I appreciate all of the help I've received from owners and trainers in obtaining these opportunities.”

Teetan's triumph on the Fownes-trained Sky Gem underscored his rising confidence, as the gelding blitzed his competitors by two lengths in the Class 5 Yan Chau Tong Handicap (2200m) in a class record time of 2m 15.87s.

Teetan, who started from gate 12, released Sky Gem towards the 1000m mark with a bold mid-race move, grabbing the lead leaving the back straight and racing away.

“We spoke about those techniques before the race, and they worked perfectly,” Fownes added. “He was the race's finest stayer, but he needed to be ridden that way. He did something similar with Vincent (Ho) last year.”

In the battle for the trainers' championship, Fownes extended his lead over John Size to 69-65 with nine matches remaining in the season.

Teetan's ride on Red Majesty from barrier eight in the Class 4 Silver Mine Bay Handicap (1650m) was also of the highest caliber after earlier posting a race-to-race brace for Tsui aboard Happy Tango and Telecom Smart in the first and second sections, respectively, of the Class 4 Port Shelter Handicap (1200m).

“Telecom Smart didn't surprise me because he's been so consistent,” Tsui said after the Smart Missile gelding broke an agonizing streak of three consecutive runner-up finishes to win.

“Happy Tango had been racing on the all-weather in Sha Tin, so I decided to bring him back to Happy Valley to run on the grass, and it worked out well.”

Danny Shum thinks Packing Victory can be a Hong Kong Four-Year-Old Classic Series contender next season after the New Zealand import overcame inexperience and older competition to win the third division of the Class 4 Port Shelter Handicap (1200m) on Wednesday at Happy Valley (9 June).

Purton expertly controlled the Reliable Man horse to victory despite racing greenly in the closing stages, prompting Shum to proclaim the three-year-old a potential candidate for the Classic Series, a three-race series culminating in the BMW Hong Kong Derby next March.

“Hopefully, yeah. We'll see - he's got potential,” Shum said of the Hong Kong Classic Mile (1600m), Hong Kong Classic Cup (1800m), and Hong Kong Derby (2000m).

“He's a terrific horse with talent,” Shum remarked. “As he gets older, he'll be able to cover longer distances — 1400, 1600, and 1800 meters will be no trouble at all.

“Yeah, hopefully. We'll see - he's got potential,” Shum added, alluding to the Hong Kong Classic Mile (1600m), Hong Kong Classic Cup (1800m), and Hong Kong Derby (2000m).

“He's a great horse with ability,” Shum remarked. “As he gets older, he'll be able to cover longer distances — 1400, 1600, and 1800 meters with ease.

“He is straightforward.

“He's about to get a good break now. He's a beautiful horse, and I couldn't ask for much more than what he's done, and I'm looking forward to seeing him again next season.”

Whyte and Chau shared their 14th victory of the season when Mclucky won the Class 3 Kat O Hoi Handicap (1200m) for the second time in a row after Alexis Badel provided a fantastic front-running ride on Frankie Lor's Everyone's Delight to win the Class 3 Mirs Bay Handicap (1650m).

On Sunday, racing in Hong Kong resumes at Sha Tin (13 June).