Photo: The Hong Kong Jockey Club
Teetan partnered Ricky Yiu’s three-year-old Alcari to win the Class 4 Chung On Handicap (1000m) on debut, before Peter Ho-trained Fifty Fifty produced arguably the day’s most impressive win in the Class 2 Yeung Uk Handicap (1400m).
Fifty Fifty (114lb) entered the Class 2 closer having won last time out in Class 3, settling midfield over 1200m. With the step up to 1400m, Teetan had Fifty Fifty contesting the lead early before landing in the box seat – an ideal spot, except when the field bunched around the 500m leaving the Mauritian rider searching for room.
Manouevering from the rail to the centre of the track approaching the 300m, the Thorn Park grey sprinted powerfully to win by a length and a half over Racing Supernova (133lb).
“They slowed up between the 800m and 400m, so Karis had nowhere to go at the top of the straight,” Ho said. “Luckily, the field was not that strong and he had a feather weight so it didn’t matter too much. But still, to win in the manner he did was very good to see.”
“He’s a small horse, but I think Peter has a nice horse on his hands,” Teetan concurred. “I did have to shift out at the 300m, but the way that he picked himself up and got moving suggests he’s heading higher.”
Ho says that Fifty Fifty is bound for Group races later this season, but is likely to face Class 2 company again next start.
“I might give him one or two more runs at 1400m, I’ll see how he pulls up,” Ho said. “There are a few 1400m Class 1 and Class 2 races around, and ideally I’d like to run him in Class 2 next time. I could see him being a horse who runs in the 1400m (Class 1) on international day, and then the second half of the season, he might be in Group races over a mile.”
Earlier, Alcari made a taking impression at his first start, racing clear from Lucky Lucky to win by two and a quarter lengths untouched over the straight 1000m.
“Last season, I jumped him out and I could tell then he was a very nice horse,” Teetan said. “I was just a little bit worried because he always works so good in the mornings, I wasn’t sure what he would have when I let him off the bit. But that was impressive, and Ricky always had a high opinion of him – and he would know too.”
“Ricky has a great record with these three-year-olds, horses like Fairy King Prawn, Sacred Kingdom and Blizzard. I’m not saying this horse will be as good as them, but he is in the right hands.”
Alcari was the first leg of a running double for Yiu, who also sent out Amritsaria to win the Class 5 Hoi Pa Handicap (2000m) with Brett Prebble aboard.
Long drought ends for Divine Boy on dirt
It had been a long time between drinks for Divine Boy, but trainer Me Tsui hopes that he may have more wins in store now after his three and a quarter length victory in the Class 3 Tsuen Lok Handicap (1650m) on the all-weather track under Joao Moreira.
Divine Boy’s career peaked late in his four-year-old season, when he was fourth to Lucky Bubbles in the HKG2 Sprint Cup (1200m) and seventh, just four lengths from Australian speedster Chautauqua, in the G1 Chairman’s Sprint Prize (1200m). His last win came earlier that term, when he completed a hat-trick of 1200m Happy Valley triumphs in December 2015.
“These days, as an older horse, he just doesn’t have that speed over 1200m,” Tsui said. “His first-up run was good and I think the dirt suits him. Hopefully he can win up in Class 2 again, on that you’d think it is a chance. Maybe I’ll try to find another dirt mile for him.”
It was the second leg of a brace for Moreira, who took the Class 4 Tai Ho Handicap (1400m) on Red Horse.
Racing returns to Happy Valley on Wednesday, with an eight-race card scheduled to begin at 7.15pm.
Source: The Hong Kong Jockey Club (Andrew Hawkins)