Karis Teetan steams to Happy Valley four-timer as David Hall and Luke Ferraris warm up for Hong Kong Derby | HK Racing


Karis Teetan had a night out at Happy Valley on Wednesday, landing four winners in his best performance since shaking off the thyroid condition that threatened to derail his career.

Teetan was sidelined for nearly three months earlier this season as doctors battled to get on top of his ailment. There were periods of great uncertainty for the Mauritian jockey, but he certainly left nothing to chance at the midweek meeting.

“It’s nice to have a four-timer. I thought I had some decent rides tonight and it’s not often in Hong Kong that you have nights like this when everything goes to plan,” Teetan said after his first quartet since May.

Teetan opened his account with a running cellar-grade double, taking out the Class Five Peng Chau Handicap (1,800m) aboard Michael Chang Chun-wai’s Cable Speed before snaring the Class Five Ma Wan Handicap (1,200m) with the John Size-trained Raging Blaze.

The 32-year-old completed the job in the seventh and eighth events, making no mistake aboard the night’s shortest favourite Howdeepisyourlove – who was a comfortable winner of the Class Three Cheung Chau Handicap (1,200m) at $1.4 – and Peter Ho Leung’s Wood On Fire in the first section of the Class Four Lamma Island Handicap (1,200m).

“It’s good to build some confidence going into an important weekend,” Teetan said, referencing Sunday’s BMW Hong Kong Derby.

Teetan partners the David Hayes-trained Flagship Warrior in the city’s most prestigious race, while David Hall and Luke Ferraris warmed up for the HK$24 million feature in perfect style with a win of their own thanks to the victory of Melbourne Hall.

Ferraris has kept the ride aboard Atullibigeal for the Derby after partnering the four-year-old into fifth last weekend and Hall hopes the pair can keep their momentum building.

“The horse seemed to run very well for Luke on the weekend, so we’ll give him his chance in the Derby,” Hall said.

“It’s good for that winner to happen today to give everyone a bit more confidence going into Sunday. I think the horse is as good as we can have him.

“I think the preparation has worked out well. I was really pleased with his performance [last weekend], and I’m really pleased with the way he’s come through it. The 2,000m is unknown territory for a lot of them – and he’s one of them – but I’m very confident he’ll run the distance if he relaxes.”

Atullibigeal is Hall’s third Derby runner and presents Ferraris with his best chance in the classic 12 months after he booted around $207 chance Mr Ascendency in his maiden Hong Kong season.

“He’s a nice horse. He’s obviously got his quirks – it doesn’t take a lot for him to over-race – so a lot of things have got to go his way. Let’s see what the draw is like tomorrow, but I’m very happy to be on him,” Ferraris said of Atullibigeal.

Hall certainly has higher hopes for what the future may hold for Atullibigeal than Melbourne Hall, a seven-year-old who was winning for the fourth time at start 46 in the second section of the Lamma Island Handicap.

“Getting gate two, having a nice rails run and the inside run up the straight made all the difference to him. We know that’s what sort of horse he is – he’s been a consistent 1,200m Happy Valley horse,” Hall said after his 26th win of the season.

“Probably, he’ll be remembered for running second to Romantic Warrior at Romantic Warrior’s second start. He won’t make himself too famous, but it’s great he’s been able to get another win.”

The wins of Raging Blaze and Howdeepisyourlove took Size to 45 victories for the season and stretched his championship lead to six over Frankie Lor Fu-chuen and the other trainer to land a double on Wednesday night, Ricky Yiu Poon-fai.

Yiu teamed up with jockey Hugh Bowman to land a brace thanks to the victories of Villa Fionn and Nimble Nimbus.


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