Teetan aiming to keep ball rolling with Premiere at Happy Valley

Fresh off a weekend double at Sha Tin, Karis Teetan will be hoping to continue his strong start to the season aboard last season’s Champion Griffin Premiere in the Class 2 Kwoon Chung Bus Cup Handicap (1000m) at Happy Valley on Wednesday night.

John Size-trained Premiere (124lb) returned a strong winner over the Sha Tin straight 1000m on 16 September with Joao Moreira in the saddle. However, with Moreira suspended on Wednesday night, Teetan takes over as the Dylan Thomas gelding returns to the Happy Valley 1000m, where he won three times last season.

“Last time, he won well, he was nice and fresh. He had a good trial last week with Joao aboard, but Joao’s not here so it’s exciting to pick up the ride,” Teetan said at Sha Tin on Tuesday morning (10 October). “He’s a nice type and he’s going well. He’s always performed well at the Valley and he’s got a nice draw (six), so I think he should get over for a good run.”

Premiere wins at his seasonal reappearance over 1000m at Sha Tin last start, picture Hong Kong Jockey Club

While Teetan believes the 1000m is Premiere’s best distance, he is also wary of the speed in Wednesday night’s contest, with sharp types like Sea Jade (131lb) and Adventurer (125lb) engaged.

“I think the 1000m is his distance so I think he can win again. He’s performed better over the 1000m because he has so much speed, the 1200m he just gets found out because he can go too fast and he just stops the last little bit,” Teetan said. “There are a few horses in there that can go forward, but he is fast too so I think he will be up there. He’s an easy horse to ride – I’ll jump, have him where he is comfortable and he can either lead or sit outside a horse like Adventurer.”

The night’s trophy event also features another four-year-old in the shape of John Moore’s Sea Jade. Tommy Berry rode the Star Witness gelding into third first-up behind Wah May Friend and admitted that he had performed above expectations.

“We expected him to run well, but I thought he would run out of condition a lot earlier than he did,” Berry said. “I guess we got a very easy time during the run which helped him finish off a little bit better, but he strips a lot fitter going into this race and he drops back to the 1000m as well which will suit him.

“I thought it might take him a couple of days to get over his last run because he was so big in condition, but he pulled up really well and he’s come on in leaps and bounds.”

The Kwoon Chung Bus Cup Handicap is the seventh of eight races on the card and is scheduled to jump at 10.15pm.