KARIS TEETAN: THE CONTINUING ADVENTURES OF THE MAURITIAN MAGICIAN

By Hans Ebert
@hanseberthk

When I think of Karis Teetan, the quality that springs most clearly to mind is his clear-eyed ability to live gratefully. That may sound simple, but is exceptionally difficult to achieve – particularly in the high pressured, opinion driven world of racing. Google defines it as the ability to focus on the goodness and positivity in life. Whatever the latest label reads, it is something the young Mauritian mastered very early on. When it comes to his pursuit of excellence, that clear, positive focus allows him to cut out the ego-driven detritus of self-doubt and second guessing and extract the maximum positivity in any given situation and capitalise on it. Opportunities are not questioned, they are accepted as the gifts they are and usually returned with interest. And as with all masters of their craft, Karis never stops learning and improving. Every horse, every ride, every race is a lesson. Each is carefully weighed, assimilated and applied going forward. In Cape Town, where Karis spent his formative riding career, there’s an expression, “If you don’t like the weather, wait 5 minutes”. If you think you’ve seen the best of Karis, just wait 5 minutes. There’s plenty still to come. (Robyn Louw – Sporting Post)

On Sunday at Shatin, racing fans saw another Magic Man in action. Sure, by now, we’re all used to the magnificent feats of derring-do from the mercurial Brazilian Joao Moreira. All that’s left for him to do is part the Red Seas- and which he’s probably done in another lifetime. But on Sunday, Karis Teetan pulled something very special out of his own bag of tricks with a magical ride on the John Moore-trained Designs On Rome in the Group 2 Oriental Watch Shatin Trophy.

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At odds of 20 to 1, this often underrated galloper was, in many ways, the forgotten horse in the race. But ignore Designs On Rome at your peril. And Karis Teetan. Put them together, mix, stir and you get what happened at Shatin.

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WINX: SIMPLY THE BEST. HOW MANY RACING CLUBS CAN SAY THAT?

By Hans Ebert
@hanseberthk

Something magical happened at Moonee Valley yesterday. Winx won the Cox Plate- for the second time- and by so doing, transformed the face of racing. How many understand this? That’s debatable. Winx, Hughie Bowman, Chris Waller and the owners gave the sport a facelift and makeover. They made horse racing likeable and part of the mainstream consciousness. For this and more, a huge Thank You to that wonderful lady named Winx for everything she has already done for racing, and her performance yesterday.

Ladies don’t like to brag, so we’ll do it for her: Winx demolished a very very good field of stayers. The problem was it was her and them. And Winx was a 10. Even that buffoon Trump would agree with that assessment. It’s not locker room talk. It was there for all to see.

Racing, especially in Victoria, has taken a heavy pounding over the past year with its various gaffes, U-turns, lack of leadership, no one wishing to take on the arduous task of steering the Titanic, mediocre hires, the Peter Principle of promoting incompetence, the ongoing and meandering Cobalt horse opera, the Moodie Blues, the misadventures of Rumpole Of The Bailey, more unnecessary information about Yesterday’s Man Danny Nikolic, the old chestnut and the loudest whisper for decades involving a certain trainer and apprentices that’s reared its ugly head again etc etc. And despite all this, it took this wonderful mare to resuscitate racing in Victoria for a few minutes, and, far more importantly, bring some much-needed dignity to the sport. Dignity has been in very short supply. And so have racing heroes.

Winx was ably supported by a supporting cast comprising the humility and sincerity of her owners, Bowman and trainer Chris Waller. One cannot help but wonder how, if only some in racing who are handsomely paid- and even grossly overpaid- to raise the image of the sport, had the same class as this incredible mare, just how much farther horse racing could travel.

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Posted in Australian horse racing industry, casper fownes, DOUGLAS WHYTE, HAPPY WEDNESDAY, Hong Kong Jockey Club, Hong Kong Racing, Horse Racing, HORSE RACING AND SOCIAL MEDIA, MOONEE VALLEY, The horse racing industry, zac purton | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

ABOUT THAT OLD WHYTE MAGIC…

By Hans Ebert

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He’s looking happier, he’s riding winners with the deceiving ease that’s been his trademark, and there’s that steely determination expected of the jockey everyone agrees is the consummate professional.

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Some say, Douglas Whyte is back, to which I ask, When did he leave? Last season had its ebbs and flows for this legendary- and legendary is a word often used too lightly- South African horseman who arrived in Hong Kong for the 1997-98 season a complete unknown, like a Rolling Stone, and ruled the Jockeys Premiership for thirteen consecutive years. But that’s the past.

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Posted in DOUGLAS WHYTE, HAPPY WEDNESDAY, Hong Kong Jockey Club, Hong Kong Racing, JOAO MOREIRA, JOHN SIZE, The horse racing industry, Tony Cruz, www.fasttrack.hk, zac purton | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

THE THREE AMIGOS TAKE OVER THE TIPPING DUTIES WITH A SONG IN THEIR HEARTS AND A SHA TIN ON THEIR MINDS

“Whew” is all we can say for turning down an invitation to attend the Caulfield Cup meeting yesterday. Instead, we decided to stay put and study the form for our debut as The Three Amigos of Tipping for today’s races at Shatin. Tipping: Good grief, it’s so hugely overrated and with the bragging rights, especially on Twitter, often being tough to stomach. Even for The Three Amigos.

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As for Caulfield and the “bank” that the pundits in the land Down Under described as early as Wednesday to be a simple “take-in and take-out job”, alas, it crashed and burnt when the odds-on favourite in race one- the Waterhouse-Bott-trained Sylphees ridden by Damien Oliver failed to even run a place. It was an epic fail.

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Maybe we’ve been in Hong Kong too long, or else have a different way of looking at what we want to get out of racing- a reasonably big profit- but we just don’t understand persisting in betting when, for example, it was obvious that a strong wind had knocked the stuffing out of every horse backed in the first three races at Caulfield. The first three winners paid $12.50, $16.20 and almost $28, respectively. Even those with “mail” were down and out before even getting started.

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As for “attacking” the quaddie for a 30-40 percent flexi bet by taking 6-7 horses in each leg, well that paid a little over $400 with the hotpot in the third leg- Hellbent- withdrawn very late in the innings which didn’t exactly please trainer Darren Weir nor those who took the horse one out in their bets.

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BY POPULAR REQUEST: MATTHEW CHADWICK DISCUSSES PAKISTAN STAR

Pakistan Star makes his long-awaited return tomorrow at Sha Tin- his third start in Hong Kong. Much has been discussed about the recent trial of the Tony Cruz-trained galloper, riding tactics etc. Time will tell how it all works out after race 11.

With all this interest in the galloper, we thought it would be a good time to repeat this interview with regular jockey Matthew Chadwick about his association with Pakistan Star- a horse with a quirky personality along with enormous potential.

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THE HONG KONG JOCKEY CLUB CREATES A NEW TYPE OF RECORD

In an age where the success of anything is based largely on Views and Likes, reach, awareness, and the immediacy of the message through social media plus how creatively one uses every online delivery platform available to maximum effect, the Hong Kong Jockey Club just might have created a bit of history for a racing club with the latest video for its Happy Wednesday brand.

At last count, the accompanying video for the song, “We’re Having A Wednesday”, was over 100,000 views on YouTube- and achieved in a little over a week. Not even music companies gain this type of traction for some of the videos for their artists. For a horse racing club to reach these numbers in around only three weeks shows that if one “builds” the right product, they- the millennials, especially,- will come racing- and on a regular basis to the unique setting of Happy Valley Racecourse with its main venues – The Beer Garden and Adrenaline- bringing non-stop entertainment and interactivity between the races through a constantly evolving product.

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THE HKIR DIARIES

Regrets, there’ve been a few when it comes to “The Sport Of Kings”, but what remains the highlight- at least to date- was when a group of us chipped in HK$500 each, and won the Triple Trio for the first time- getting the first three horses in any order in races 4,5 and 6. This was on a Sunday at Shatin many years ago during Hong Kong International Week when one of the other lucky winners in the group was John Didham, the one-time Magic Man of Macau racing, and winner of five jockey premierships over there, pictured below with another former rider from those glory days- David Taggart.

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With us that memorable afternoon as the orders for more of Monsieur Dom Perignon came from all sides of the table, and we were suddenly joined by new friends we had never met before who were ordering their own wines- on our tab, of course, was a new jockey to Macau known only to John at that time named Sammy Hyland.

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The problem was that Sammy had the winning ticket, but was nowhere to be found. His phone was off and we wondered if he’d got mugged, got lost, or had done a Usain Bolt. So, while (former jockey) Peter Leyshan proudly showed us a new book on Shatin Racecourse and the two pages devoted to his double on the first day the track opened to the public, we nodded politely, but our thoughts were elsewhere: the whereabouts of Sammy Hyland with our winning ticket.

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WIN A DINNER FOR FOUR AT ADRENALINE DURING HONG KONG INTERNATIONAL JOCKEYS COMPETITION NIGHT!

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How? Write in to Competition.RB@gmail.com and tell us the name of this young fella pictured below who grew up to be Hong Kong’s favourite horse racing son. Wait. There’s more.

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GIRL POWER TAKES OVER SPRING

BACK WITH EXTRA BITE (AND MORE RELISH)

THE BALLAD 0


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It could not have happened at a better time for Spring Carnival racing after the prolonged trials and tribulations that Australian racing is still plodding through. Saturday’s feature racing in Melbourne and Sydney was literally what the doctor had ordered. Racing made its seasonal return from hibernation and tedious politics and delivered a very special day of Group One racing at Caulfield and an enticing cameo at Randwick in the Spring Champion Stakes.

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Four Group Ones at Caulfield increased crowd numbers which even took the Melbourne Racing Club by surprise with a real buzz and good vibes complementing a great day, weatherwise, along with a and an excellent card of racing, dominated by some very special female equine athletes.

Australia’s champion racehorse Winx was centre stage to strut her stuff, and as is expected with champions, she did not let her fans down. Forget the three horse field argument, which, not unexpectedly, the News Limited flagship in Sydney- the “tele”- did its best to hyper ventilate over. Winx turned the “border war” on its head, and as Hughie Bowman nailed it so succinctly, the three horse race provided- just for a change- a conversation point about racing. He was right. And now this great champion has a date with destiny in a fortnight as she attempts to go back to back in the Cox Plate.

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ALL A TWITTER. BUT WHAT’S IT GOING TO CHANGE?

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THE BALLAD 0


All publicity is not good publicity, especially in today’s social media-driven world. Just look at the oh-so-public fallouts between Taylor Swift and Kanye West and Kim Kardashian and Taylor Swift, the merciful breakup of “HiddleSwift”, all the abuse hurled everyday by all parties involved in the current U.S. Presidential Elections Gong Show, and the recent apparent robbery- at gunpoint- in Paris of Kim Kardashian West.

Then there are the usual suspects in racing who, whether through sheer frustration with the lack of leadership in Victoria- the arrogance, the ignorance, the various U-turns, the Silence Of The Hannibal Lechters, the embodiment of the Peter Principle, the Cobalt Blues, the Moodie Blues- or else through self-serving agendas, keep regurgitating the same old tired subjects, and dragging the sport through the mud and into the rants of a public forum. Over and over and over again on Twitter. And, after a short break to gather their often befuddled thoughts, they’re back flogging that dead horse to death one more time thinking their slingshot is going to finally hit something. If it hasn’t by now, it never will. This isn’t the bible. And we’re in short supply of miracles.

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