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Teetan not about to rest on his laurels after opening day treble

September 8, 2021, 6:12:26 AM

Karis Teetan, fresh off an opening-day treble, is headed to Happy Valley on Wednesday, September 8th, excited to see what his full schedule has in store and to reunite with the Tony Millard-trained Gallant Crown.

Teetan stated, "It's early in the season, but getting a treble on the first day is wonderful - I'm simply happy for all of the support I get."

The DBS x Manulife Million Challenge, which runs through February 23, 2022, kicks off with Happy Valley's first encounter of the season. The competition is open to horses competing in Class 3 and higher, with first, second, third, and fourth place finishes earning points.

Gallant Crown would receive 15 points in the HK$1 million event with a first-up win in the Class 3 Community Chest Handicap (1650m).

Teetan added, "He's in really excellent shape right now, and he appears to be growing better with age and time, so I think he's heading to the races in a healthy fashion."

Second place in the race would earn the team six points, while third and fourth place would earn the team four and three points, respectively.

In his first seven races, the New Zealand-bred only achieved one top-three finish before claiming a hat-trick of victories and his fourth win overall only three starts later in June.

Teetan stated, "He really performed pretty well last season, and I hope this season he can build on that and grow a little bit further."

The five-year-old was one of the most improved gallopers last season, improving from a rating of 46 to 67 in just six races.

“I don't think he has to be too far back; from the excellent gate, he can have a nice position, switch off, and make up distance quickly, so he'll race well,” Teetan added.

The gelding returns to the races tomorrow evening after a single trial on the dirt at Sha Tin at the end of August, when he finished middle in 1m 10.72s over 1200m.

“The great barrier will surely assist him; he's doing everything right right now, and the draw will go in his favor,” the Mauritian added.

Sunny Star (133lb), Royal Bomb (130lb), Wealthy Delight (127lb), Indicative Vote (124lb), Namjong Plus (124lb), Right Honourable (119lb), Turin Redstar (117lb), Heavenly Thought (116lb), and Nothing New all break from gate four (114lb).

The owners of the three horses with the highest collected points at the end of the DBS x Manulife Million Challenge will share a total prize fund of HK$1 million: first place receives HK$650,000 (with trophy), second place receives HK$250,000, and third place receives HK$100,000.

Teetan has a full slate of rides for tomorrow evening, including Chunghwa Jingshen in the Big Wave Bay Handicap, a Class 5 race (1000m).

“He's absolutely ready; he had a good strong trial that propelled him forward; he's put on a little more condition this season and he feels stronger - I think he's a standout ride for me,” he added.

Teetan will also try to lead Red Majesty to a fourth consecutive victory in the Class 4 Chung Hom Kok Handicap's opening phase (1200m).

“I don't believe the drop in trip is an issue; he's a horse that developed a lot last season, has won some excellent races, and when I worked him, he seemed confident,” Teetan said.

After three straight wins over 1650m in the city circuit, the gelding drops in distance.

Teetan stated, "He's in fantastic hands - the David Hayes stable is performing well, they've begun well, and I think he'll run well."

Zac Purton is excited for the new season after a clean bill of health and a pair of thrilling wins from a talented combination last weekend, and he plans to keep the momentum going with seven rides this Wednesday (8 September) at Happy Valley.

“It's (body) in a much better spot than it was at any point last season, I was battling injuries right from the start and all the way through, it was just one of those years,” Purton said. “But I feel good now, I feel fresh, so let's hope that means I'm going to have a successful season.”

Packing Victory despatched 11 competitors while leaking hints of inexperience by nearly three lengths last Sunday, while Nervous Witness could not have been more stunning with what resembled a track gallop (5 September).

Purton will ride Happy Profit for trainer Danny Shum in the second part of the Class 4 Chung Hom Kok Handicap tomorrow night (1200m).

“I think he did a very decent job overall (last season), he's a horse that's a little bit shy in and amongst other runners, and he didn't manage himself very well a number of occasions, but he put in some excellent efforts,” Purton said.

The four-year-old New Zealander is aiming for his first victory after finishing second twice over this course and distance.

“From the gate, he's going to have to put in a strong effort; it seems like he could be caught wide, so we'll just have to see how he goes,” Purton said.

Purton, unquestionably one of the city's finest jockeys of all time, is on the verge of reaching a huge milestone, as he is just three wins away from reaching 1300 career victories in Hong Kong.

“He has some speed as long as he gets out of the gates cleanly, but he can be a little scruffy going out, so maybe we can get out and into a nice spot,” Purton said.

On Wednesday, September 8, the first night race meeting at Happy Valley Racecourse will also feature a total prize pool of HK$35 million.

The Triple Trio jackpot will be increased to $10 million, with a single $10 winning unit potentially yielding a $17 million dividend. The Quartet and First 4 Merged Pools of the third leg of the Triple Trio, as well as the final race, will each be topped up with a $1 million jackpot, bringing the total jackpot for the Merged Pool to $2 million.

Furthermore, because jackpots will be carried over to Wednesday's 1st Double Trio and Six Win Bonus games, the anticipated dividend on a single $10 winning unit could be $3 million or $13 million, respectively.

The Class 5 Big Wave Bay Handicap kicks off Wednesday's eight-race card at Happy Valley at 7.15 p.m. (1000m).