Fifty Fifty has been one of this season’s stellar performers, progressing from the middle of Class 3 at the start of the term into a leading player in Sunday’s (28 January) G1 Stewards’ Cup (1600m) at Sha Tin. Regular rider Karis Teetan believes the Peter Ho-trained grey’s biggest challenge to date can announce his arrival amongst the Hong Kong elite.
“Peter and I were speaking the other day, and we were just saying how everything we ask of this horse, he does,” Teetan said. “All of the pressure we have put him under, he has come out and performed so well. This will obviously be his real test now as he meets the top horses in Hong Kong on a level playing field.”
Last start, Fifty Fifty made his stakes debut in the G3 Chinese Club Challenge Cup Handicap (1400m), the traditional New Year’s Day feature. He carried the minimum weight of 113lb – and was still eight pounds out of the handicap, as well – but he produced a determined effort to see off another emerging galloper in John Size’s sprinter Beat The Clock.
Also behind Fifty Fifty on 1 January were G1 winners Helene Paragon, a length and a quarter from the winner in third, and Beauty Only, a further length and a half away in fourth. However, the son of Thorn Park gave both horses plenty of weight – 20lb and 19lb respectively – while in Sunday’s HK$10 million contest, they all carry the same 126lb impost.
“The last race, he produced a nice win but it obviously wasn’t as strong a field as he meets now and it was a handicap,” Teetan said. “That’s been something with him – he’s won most of his races with light weights, but you can’t knock him because he’s still gone out there and won and he’s beaten some very nice horses too.