Teetan relishing honeymoon period
Married life is clearly agreeing with Karis Teetan, who has now ridden at least one winner for seven meetings in a row after completing a double aboard Bullish Glory and Marvel Dragon at Sha Tin on Sunday.
#championsawards with my very own #champion @KarisTeetan aka #themauritianmagician 💕 #hkjc. pic.twitter.com/wpiEsDMXht
— Xaviere Cottereau (@Pixiexavy) July 12, 2019
Teetan was already on a good run when he tied the knot with French partner Xaviere last month and his latest double - at odds of 12-1 and 21-1 - means that anyone following him blindly this season would be in profit to a £1 level stake.
That stat contrasts markedly with Purton and Moreira - currently minus £76 and minus £100 to the same stakes respectively - and the Mauritian needs ten winners from twelve meetings to match last season's personal best of 84.
"I've been here a fair few seasons now and I'm getting stronger and stronger," he told the South China Morning Post. "Hopefully in the future I can challenge Joao and Zac - it's every jockey's dream in HK to win a championship and hopefully one day I can hit a goal like that."
Cruz on the march as trainers' tussle hots up
Teetan still has a way to go to trouble Purton and Moreira but the big two were relegated to supporting roles on Sunday, with the Aussie's win on Racing Fighter their sole success from 20 rides that included eight market leaders.
Purton is now four clear of Moreira as both men head to the Valley with full books and what had seemed a one-sided race for the trainers' title is starting to look much tighter as Tony Cruz continues to close in on leader Ricky Yiu.
Ka Ying Star! 🌟
A well-judged front-running ride from @SchofieldChad gets the Tony Cruz-trained gelding home in the G3 Lion Rock Trophy. 🙌 #HKracing pic.twitter.com/44Ofq2PSl1
— HKJC Racing (@HKJC_Racing) May 31, 2020
Yiu was eleven ahead of Cruz at the start of May but the gap is down to five after Ka Ying Star's gritty all-the-way success for Cruz and Chad Schofield in Sunday's G3 Lion Rock Trophy.
Yiu turns to Hamelin for frustrating Oasis
Cruz plans to "put the pedal to the metal" in search of a third title but Yiu is determined to hang on for his first after 25 years with a licence and is hoping the smart but frustrating Super Oasis can aid the cause with a first HK success in Wednesday's Cochrane Handicap at 2.45.
What a win! 👀
Righteous Doctrine soars home from the tail of the field under @KarisTeetan to grab Super Oasis on the line. 🚀 #HKracing pic.twitter.com/jjtkPIepoA
— HKJC Racing (@HKJC_Racing) May 17, 2020
The Kiwi G2 winner has flattered to deceive more than once - including when worn down late by the Teetan-ridden Righteous Doctrine at Sha Tin on his debut for Yiu - and the veteran handler hopes the switch to the Valley helps.
"The way he goes he can handle Happy Valley pretty well," he said. "He's beautiful to work with but I just hope he can hang on over the final part of the race. It seems as though he fades just before the winning post and I hope it isn't a habit of his."
Fading as the title race winning post approaches is also a concern for Yiu, who is fully is fully aware that Cruz is on his tail. "I'll try to hang on as best I can," he added. "I'm still five ahead but Tony has a lot of up-and-coming young horses so it's going to be tough."
Columbus and Caspar on a Valley voyage of discovery
Antoine Hamelin climbs aboard Super Oasis for the first time and presumably gets the chance because Zac Purton has opted to partner Columbus County for Caspar Fownes.
Fownes has a keen eye on a different type of title - he currently leads Yiu 25-24 in the race to be leading trainer at his beloved Valley - and Columbus County has caught the eye several times including when beaten a nose in a good handicap at Sha Tin with Super Oasis close up in fourth.
The Redwood gelding is another making his Valley debut but he travels like a horse who ought to be very much at home at the city circuit and a strong recent morning trial with Purton aboard suggests that he's ready to play a major role in this £220,000 feature.