Karis Teetan has made a fine start to the season and in Sunday’s Class 2 standout at Sha Tin, the Yeung Uk Handicap, the man who sits third in the jockeys’ premiership will aim to add to his tally with the exciting prospect Fifty Fifty (114lb).
The Mauritian ace has been in the plate for both of the grey’s Hong Kong starts, the latest being an impressive victory in a Class 3 contest over 1200m. Peter Ho’s charge scored at Sunday’s distance on his sole outing pre-import.
“The trip is no problem, I think it will be much better for him,” Teetan said. “There’ll be no rush, he can be very comfortable and when it’s time to let down I’m pretty sure he’ll be able to. He’s one of my rides that stands out, so I hope he can prove it.”
Teetan is adamant that Fifty Fifty has improved since his two-length success over Diamond King on 3 September.
“It was a very nice win from him and he’s definitely improved from that first run (this season). He’s stepping up in class but I think he’s got a nice bit of ability so it shouldn’t be a problem.”
Fifty Fifty wins in his seasonal reappearance last month with Karis Teetan on board, picture Hong Kong Jockey Club
The New Zealand import maintained sharpness with a third-past-the-post effort in a 1000m turf barrier trial at Sha Tin on Tuesday (3 October).
“It was nice, he just had a nice easy trial to stretch his legs: the trial was good, he has a light weight and he’s nice and healthy,” Teetan said.
Racing Supernova (133lb) heads the weights in the field of 14. Trainer Chris So is happy with the galloper’s wellbeing as he seeks a first win since a score off 93 back in November. After hitting a career peak of 103, the course and distance winner is back down to 100, a rating at which he has proven capable without actually scoring.
“His recent barrier trial was okay and his rating is back to 100 so he should run well,” So said. “I wanted to book Matthew Poon to take off seven pounds but Matthew needs to ride for his boss, David Hall. Carrying top-weight is the worry, but that’s the game and Nash (Rawiller) is a good, strong rider.”
Simply Invincible, not seen in action since finishing a race with blood in his trachea back in April, caught the eye with a strong-closing barrier trial behind Little Giant recently. The course and distance winner is set to shoulder 124lb thanks to apprentice Poon’s 7lb allowance.
Neil Callan, meanwhile, is hoping California Whip (128lb) can strike at the third time of asking this term. Tony Cruz’s charge, whose only Hong Kong win came over 1200m on the all-weather last January, has finished just out of the frame in two runs this campaign, latterly when fifth behind Citron Spirit at the track and trip.
“I thought he’d come on for his first run because he had a quite a long break after he was gelded (in May),” Callan explained.
“Last time I thought the ground (good) was a little bit against him, he didn’t quicken like he normally can. He’s more than capable but most of Tony’s have just been taking a little time to hit their straps. With that in mind, you’d think those two runs under his belt might have put him spot on. Hopefully the ground’s quick for him.”
One spot ahead of California Whip last time was the Danny Shum-trained Healthy Joyful (116lb).
The Tony Millard-trained Super Lifeline has six course and distance wins under his belt – the latest three and a half years ago. The eight-year-old is down to a mark of 88 from a career peak 106 and has apprentice Dylan Mo booked to take off 7lb.
The field also features the John Size-trained Big Bang Bong (120lb), first-up for the season under Joao Moreira. Chad Schofield takes the ride on the lightly-raced joint bottom weight Lucky Dollar (114lb).
In the Class 3 Tsuen Fu Handicap (1200m), Tommy Berry will ride Hair Trigger (127lb) for his boss John Moore and is expecting a good showing from the four-year-old.
Berry was up top when the Australian import won first time out this season, and again when the son of Smart Missile ran fourth behind Top Beautiful last time. Both of those efforts were at 1000m.
“I think the step up (to 1200m) will suit him,” he said. “We’ve got his breathing right now, he’s a more relaxed horse. I think that win on the first day really gave him a lot of confidence.”
And Berry was pleased enough with the gelding’s effort in defeat last time.
“He didn’t get out until late the other day and he’s probably unlucky not to finish right there on the winner’s heels,” he said.
“He’s in good form, he had a good gallop down the back straight (since) and he finished it off perfectly and pulled up well. He’s just a horse you’ve got to keep happy, let him do what he wants early, no matter how far you have to let him get out of his ground and he always finishes off strongly.”
Sunday’s action starts at 1pm with the Class 4 Chung On Handicap (1000m).