Teetan intends to capitalise on perfect barrier with Romantic Warrior
Karis Teetan plans to exploit an ideal inside draw and an expected strong tempo in the hope Romantic Warrior can remain undefeated and claim the HK$12 million Hong Kong Classic Mile (1600m) at Sha Tin on Sunday (30 January).
The Mauritian takes over on Danny Shum’s Hong Kong International Sale Graduate from Joao Moreira, who will ride Master Delight, and believes the Acclamation gelding can present as a winning chance.
“It’s a nice ride to get on, he looks a nice, progressive horse so it’s a nice opportunity for me,” the Mauritian said. “Hearing from Joao and Danny and the way the horse has been running, it looks like the mile shouldn’t be a problem.
“From that draw, that will make things a bit easier for him and I think he has got a bit of quality. From gate one we don’t have a headache so I will ride him where he is comfortable, there are a few speed influences in the race so I will just follow them through.”
Blake Shinn replaces Teetan on G1 New Zealand Derby (2400m) winner Rocket Spade after the colt’s last-start fourth behind Beauty Joy at Happy Valley over 1650m.
“I’m optimistic about his chances. I’ve got to go in confident, he’s a New Zealand Derby winner and barring one run in Hong Kong, his other two runs have been really positive and I think he’s a classy horse who has some chance in a competitive field,” said Shinn, who won last year’s Hong Kong Classic Mile aboard John Size’s Excellent Proposal.
“He looks like a horse who, as the distances stretch out, is going to be better suited. But in saying that, I took a lot of encouragement out of his first-up run over 1400m he got back and hit the line really strongly so that shows to me he’s got some sharpness about him.
“There appears plenty of pressure in the race with California Spangle and the like going forward, so my horse is a midfield to get-back runner and I’ll hopefully ride him similarly to Excellent Proposal and get the same result.”
Excellent Proposal contests the HK$3.7 million G3 Centenary Vase Handicap (1800m) on Sunday and Size hopes a step up in distance from 1400m will prove decisive.
“His best performance is 1600m when he won the Classic Mile but he did run well in the 1800m (Hong Kong Classic Cup) and the (BMW Hong Kong) Derby in the Four-Year-Old Classic Series,” Size said.
“(On) Sunday, he’s got an 1800m race that looks like it’s got a decent tempo with two leaders there in Ka Ying Star and Reliable Team and hopefully he can relax the first half of the race and run home.”
G3 January Cup Handicap (1800m) winner Zebrowski (113lb) is among Excellent Proposal’s rivals at the weekend and will be ridden by Matthew Poon for Caspar Fownes.
“He’s been good, he remains in good form. Obviously, the handicap conditions again are going to suit him for this race and I’m happy with him,” Fownes said.
“We’re trying to get his rating up as high as we can, he’s the type of horse that – towards the end of the season – could play into his hands quite nicely.
“He’s a nice, progressive horse and he just keeps improving. He’s raced very consistently since day one and long may it continue.”
Shinn partners Panfield for Tony Millard.
“He’s a quality horse, I was delighted with his trial. He’s obviously a Group 1 winner and probably the best stayer in Hong Kong so I’m rapt to be riding him,” Shinn said.
“He should be very competitive, he’s an ultra-consistent horse and a horse like him, you can’t discount him in any race.”
Moor rides Celestial Warrior, Fortune Hero, Mr Aldan and Sunny Boy, while Currie partners Miracle Victory, Red Brick Fighter and Swot Troopers Wind.
Sunday’s (30 January) meeting kicks off with the Class 4 Tathong Channel Handicap (1200m) at 1pm.