Horse Racing
Karis Teetan upbeat over Buzzinga

By Leo Schlink
24/06/2022 12:59

Buzzinga has enjoyed a fine debut season.
Buzzinga has enjoyed a fine debut season.

In the midst of another excellent season, Karis Teetan is confident Buzzinga can lay the foundations for a strong 2022/23 campaign when he jousts with some of Hong Kong’s most promising young horses in the Class 2 Pok Fu Lam Country Park Handicap (1400m) at Sha Tin on Saturday (25 June).

Pitted against Fantastic Treasure (135lb), Buddies (131lb), The Golden Scenery (130lb), Good Luck Friend (128lb), Master Delight (123lb), Navas Two (123lb), Winner Method (123lb), Beauty Live (121lb), Toronado Phantom (121lb) and Beauty Fit (119lb), Buzzinga (121lb) is looking to stamp his progress with a third win in five starts for Tony Cruz.

Rated 83 after two wins and two placings over Sha Tin’s 1200m course, Buzzinga is one of six gallopers in Saturday’s race chasing a High Achievement Bonus. The others are Master Delight, Navas Two, Winner Method, Beauty Live and Toronado Phantom.

Teetan is optimistic Buzzinga can scoop a HK$1 million windfall by succeeding at Class 2 level when rated 80 or higher before turning five with the step to 1400m.

“I feel that he’s definitely ready for a trip. Last time, (at) 1200 metres he had to keep working to keep up with the pace where at the 1400 metres, he has a chance to breathe and take his time and feel better about going into the straight,” the Mauritian said.

Karis Teetan has 70 wins this season.
Karis Teetan has 70 wins this season.

“I think he’s definitely ready for 1400 metres. We know how good he is and the turn of foot he’s got.

“It’s going to be a test for him and for us to know how good he is going forward to next season, but I think he’s a very smart horse. I think he’s ready to take on some of the big names, so I’m really looking forward to it.

“I think he will progress nicely into the grades and even next season I think he will better after the summer break. He’s showing some really good signs so far.

“He’s a horse that we’re all looking forward to. He’s been progressing nicely throughout the season. He had a couple of nice wins and he ran a couple of good races with a big weight. He’s learning, too, and I’m really happy with his progress.”

Zac Purton is similarly upbeat over the chances of Richard Gibson’s charge Navas Two.

“Things really didn’t go right for him last time, he was slow out of the gate and then copped a squeeze at about the 1000 metre-mark in a messy-run race and he finished the race off strongly,” Purton said.

“He’s a horse who has had a really good season, he just went down last time, and hopefully he can make amends this time. Hopefully he can begin well and put himself in a better spot and get his chance.”

Navas Two shapes as top-liner.
Navas Two shapes as top-liner.

Trailing Joao Moreira 127-126 in the jockeys’ championship, Purton is hopeful Gang Of Brothers can continue his winning run when he contests the Class 4 Hong Kong Riding For The Disabled Association Cup Handicap (1400m).

“He had been running well at the Valley, but he seemed to take quite some time to pick himself up and he was always closing the races off late, he wasn’t quite sharp enough and wasn’t able to get it done,” the Australian explained.

“He had a few chances and it looked like he wanted it a bit further and Paul was happy to come to Sha Tin and try that and it worked out well and hopefully it does again. This race doesn’t map as well as it did last time for him, so we’ll see how he begins and work it out from there.”

Blotting Paper, who runs in the Class 4 Tuen Mun Public Riding School Handicap (1650m, dirt) for Gibson, is one of Purton’s nine rides at the weekend.

“He’s been racing all well on the surface and hasn’t put a foot wrong, he’s drawn well (gate two), he’s in good form. Hopefully he gets a nice run, there’s some nice tempo and he gets his chance again. Obviously, he’s getting up in the weights (133lb), but he’s honest and I’m sure he’s going to give his best again,” Purton said.

Lyle Hewitson hopes to extend a thriving partnership with Douglas Whyte when Private Rocket contests the Class 3 Pok Fu Lam Reservoir Road Handicap (1400m).

“I think 1400 metres on the turf is up his alley and he’s also had a bit of luck with the barrier draw (gate one), so that’s certainly a bonus,” Hewitson said. “He’s got such natural gate speed and once he gets there (on-pace), he’s able to switch off at a good tempo – whether that be leading or with cover – so he’s quite a versatile and simple horse to ride.

“My only concern would be that he certainly needs a bit of sting out of the ground and we’ve had a lot of hot days, so it (the track) might be on the firmer side. He comes into the race in good form and if he can offset needing a soft track, he’s certainly in good enough form to run a great race.”

Whyte has 41 wins for the campaign, while Hewitson has 21. Together, the South Africans have shared 16 wins and 25 minor placings from 128 attempts.

Saturday’s (25 June) Sha Tin card starts with the Class 5 Chai Wan Road Handicap (1200m) at 1pm.