It does not matter how many winners a top jockey has ridden, they are always on the hunt for more.
Fresh from his 500th Hong Kong success at last week’s Happy Valley meeting, Karis Teetan is back in the saddle and looking for win number 501 on Wednesday night.
The Mauritian jockey has seven rides at Happy Valley with his top opportunity looking to come aboard California Sky in what shapes as the best race on the card, the closing Class Three Breezy Handicap (1,200m).
The Tony Cruz-trained four-year-old was well fancied to make a winning debut over this trip at Sha Tin earlier this month and led for much of the way before fading to finish fourth, but Teetan is expecting an improved performance this time.
“He’s a lovely horse and since he’s come to Hong Kong, every trial he was showing good signs and improving,” Teetan said.
“He’s a big, strong horse so I think racing will improve him and I’m hoping that first run has brought him along and will trim him up a bit, because he felt a bit heavy last time when I rode him. I think he should improve from that run.”
California Sky will get his first experience of a Happy Valley race on Wednesday and Teetan is hopeful that the switch from Sha Tin should not pose his mount too many problems.
“You never know when you go to the Valley for the first time because everything will be new – he’s been to the Valley but normally when they race here for the first time it can be a bit hard for them,” Teetan said.
“But he seems like he’s a very straightforward horse. In all his trials he’s been pretty good so he knows what to do when he gets to the races. I’m just hoping he’s improved from his first run and, if he has, he’ll be right there.”
California Sky may be a dual winner in Australia but he faces stiff competition in the shape of Astrologer as he attempts to make his Hong Kong breakthrough.
The Douglas Whyte-trained runner is on the verge of a leap to Class Two company after winning two of his four starts and he’ll again be partnered by Joao Moreira, who will be keen to salute on at least a couple of occasions on Wednesday night to extend his lead in the jockeys’ championship before he starts his six-meeting suspension on February 6.
Teetan, who will be in the running to pick up a few nice rides in Moreira’s absence, is also confident a couple of his other mounts hold winning chances at the midweek meeting.
“Spontaneous [in the Class Four Kotewall Handicap (1,200m)] drops in class so he should have his chance,” Teetan said.
“Sunny And Gold [in the Class Five Po Shan Handicap (1,200m)] trialled like a bullet last time, but he always trials well. I’m hoping this time he can do something – he’s got the blinkers on and he’s got a nice draw [in stall two].”