Watch Out For Karis On Sunday

FWD Champions Day - Sha Tin on Sunday

The son of a Mauritian labourer, 30 year old SA Jockey Academy graduate Karis Teetan has entrenched himself as a leading rider in the unforgiving arena of Hong Kong horseracing.

Karis is looking forward to making another impact on FWD Champions Day at Sha Tin on Sunday, and believes he is ready to reap the rewards from a pair of off-season stints in Japan when he partners Glory Vase in the HK$25 million Gr1 FWD QEII.

Karis Teetan salutes another winner (Pic- HKJC)

Currently in third position behind Joao Moreira and Zac Purton on the Hong Kong Jockey log, the Mauritian notched an impressive 50 wins in his first Hong Kong season and has continued to build on that good start.

He finished third in the 2017/18 premiership race with 52 wins, which included a trio of Gr3 triumphs.

He topped that in 2018/19 with 84 wins as he secured his first Hong Kong Gr1 win aboard Mr Stunning in the Hong Kong Sprint and again went better in 2019/20 with a personal best 93 wins, cementing third place in the premiership race. He reunited with Mr Stunning in the 2020 Chairman’s Sprint Prize, securing the Mauritian his second Hong Kong Gr1.

“Since I’ve been in Hong Kong, I’ve had a few stints in Japan throughout the off-seasons and it’s nice because now it’s paying off having made those connections with an opportunity like this,” Teetan said.

Teetan has eight wins from 84 rides in Japan dating back to his first fortnightly spell in July 2016, he returned to the ‘Land of the Rising Sun’ the following year to complete another two weeks, again during Hong Kong’s off-season.

The Mauritian’s third sortie in Japan came when he partnered Blizzard to fifth in the Gr1 Takamatsunomiya Kinen (1200m) before his latest appointment in 2019 to compete in the World All-Star Jockeys at Sapporo Racecourse, finishing joint-third.

“I’ve ridden for Silk Racing in Japan, so the connection goes back but this is just such a great opportunity – it’s one of my dreams to get on a Japanese horse in Hong Kong and it’s worked out perfectly this season,” Teetan said.

Karis and his champ, Mr Stunning (Pic- HKJC)

Glory Vase, a dark bay son of Deep Impact, returns for his second foray in Hong Kong after being successful at his first try in the 2019 Gr1 LONGINES Hong Kong Vase.

“When I found out a few of the jockeys weren’t coming I picked up the phone and contacted an agent. So it was a bit of wait and see but finally I wound up securing a quality horse and I’m pretty pleased with that,” Teetan said.

“His win here in Hong Kong was very impressive, the manner in which he quickened up was impressive and I expect he’ll be one of the favourites but he deserves it because he’s got the quality,” the Mauritian added.

The six-year-old is a one-time Gr1 winner across 14 career starts but boasts a pair of wins at Gr2 level back in Japan, both times at Kyoto Racecourse.

“He’s been to Hong Kong and he knows the environment because it can be tricky for horses when they travel for the first time, so I’m sure his experience here is a plus,” Teetan said.

“Daring Tact looks very strong, but this horse has done it here, he knows the track and he knows how things work here, so I hope I can do good aboard him,” he added.

Teetan also pairs with veteran galloper Southern Legend, who is looking for back-to-back wins in the HK$20 million Gr1 FWD Champions Mile and this year, faces five opponents: Golden Sixty, Healthy Happy, More Than This, Ka Ying Star and Mighty Giant.

“He’s such an amazing horse, it’s amazing how hard he tries all the time, he just never gives up – last start things didn’t quite go his way because I thought the leader had it his own way out in front. I thought things could be different for him but in a small field, tactics can change the complexion of the race and trouble can occur, so I am going to have this at the back of my mind when I sit down with Caspar (Fownes) to discuss the plan,” Teetan said.

Teetan also pairs with Big Party in the HK$18 million Gr1 Chairman’s Sprint Prize against 12 rivals including Japan’s Danon Smash, winner of the 2020 Gr1 LONGINES Hong Kong Sprint.

“If he draws well and gets a good run then I can see him being very competitive, especially if the track isn’t too firm,” Teetan said.

And trainer Frankie Lor hopes lightning can strike twice in the same setting as he prepares to unleash Big Party and Fat Turtle against crack Japanese speedster Danon Smash in the HK$18 million Gr1 Chairman’s Sprint Prize.

(Pic- HKJC)

Lor combined with Karis to claim the FWD Champions Day feature in 2020 when Mr Stunning prevailed at 21-1 and he hopes Big Party and Fat Turtle (Antoine Hamelin) can similarly reverse recent form to successfully contend at generous odds.

“Both horses were a little bit disappointing last time but they’ve come back since and everything looks fine with them,” Lor said.

“It’s hard to say whether they’ve got a really good chance but if they produce their best, they can run well – we’re hoping they can do that.”

Twice victorious over the course and distance, Big Party has finished in the money in Pattern races five times from seven attempts in the 2020/21 season but he has not won since 29 December 2019, when triumphant over 1000m at Sha Tin.

However, the Exceed And Excel gelding finished third behind Hot King Prawn in the Gr1 Centenary Sprint Cup on 24 January before failing with successive eighths behind Wellington on 13 March and Amazing Star on 5 April.

A treble on Sunday, 13 September2020 at Sha Tin included the milestone of his 400th win in Hong Kong.

“I couldn’t believe it, I didn’t even know to be honest but it’s something special and it takes a lot of hard work. I didn’t even know but it’s something that will encourage me now to work harder and look forward to more winners,” he said at the time.


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