Intent on regaining momentum after a mid-week mishap, Karis Teetan is confident Hongkong Great can overcome distance concerns by imposing his quality on Class 2 Tsuen Lok Handicap (1200m, dirt) rivals at Sha Tin on Sunday (10 October).
Teetan is banking on the former Chilean’s established affinity with the dirt despite concerns Sunday’s assignment will be too short for the talented galloper, who closed last season with three 1650m victories from four attempts at Sha Tin.
A triple Group 1 winner in South America before transferring to Danny Shum’s stable, Hongkong Great smashed classy Gun Pit’s course 1650m record in May this year with a blistering gallop of 1m 36.15s.
Teetan, who suffered right shoulder and neck soreness in a fall at Happy Valley on Wednesday (6 October), is hopeful of making a seamless start from barrier one on Hongkong Great, who led throughout to win a 1200m barrier trial on the dirt on 28 September.
“He felt good in the trial, he enjoyed the all-weather track. He did it pretty easy. I was surprised how well he handled the dirt, now I know why he’s won his races so comfortably,” the Mauritian said.
“He’s nice, fresh. He’s got a bit of a spark at the moment. I thought 1200m would be a bit too short for him, but he can handle the track and if I can get him into a good position where he can have a bit of room, I think he will be okay.
“1650m and 1200m are completely different, but if he can have a good jump and lead the race, that would be ideal. I’ll speak to Danny and see what he’s got in mind.”