Horse Racing
Victor The Winner rises for Group 3 Sha Tin Vase challenge

By Declan Schuster
31/05/2023 11:13

Victor The Winner is one of Hong Kong’s hottest new talents.
Victor The Winner is one of Hong Kong’s hottest new talents.

Victor The Winner’s emergence has been rapid and this Sunday (4 June) he’ll look to ascend even further when he lines up in the HK$3.9 million G3 Sha Tin Vase Handicap (1200m) against a collection of Hong Kong’s most accomplished sprinters.

A five-time winner from seven starts, Victor The Winner has shot up from a rating of 52 to a career-high 101 – capped with a pair of wins in Class 2 by a combined three lengths.

Rated 29 points astern of Lucky Sweynesse’s towering mark of 130 in this weekend’s dash, Victor The Winner has been assigned Karis Teetan – a natural light weight in the saddle – as recent partner Zac Purton hunts a ninth win atop Lucky Sweynesse.

“He’s going in with 20 pounds less than Lucky Sweynesse, of course, he’s a superstar but 20 pounds makes a big difference,” Teetan said. “All of those horses have had a long season now, so towards the end of the season you get a horse like Victor The Winner rising against the big boys, carrying 115 pounds, it’s a big advantage.”

The last two winners of the Sha Tin Vase, Courier Wonder (2021) and Cordyceps Six (2022), carried 118lb and 113lb to victory, respectively.

Victor The Winner lands a fifth win last April.

“I trialled Victor The Winner and I know there’s a big difference in rating, but he’s going to make Lucky Sweynesse work hard to get past him because Victor The Winner is a very good horse, I believe,” Teetan said.

Sight Success, Courier Wonder, Master Eight, Rewarding Together, Cordyceps Six and Ima Single Man also hold entries for Sunday’s Sha Tin Vase.

Teetan clocked 1m 11.45s on the dirt over 1200m atop Victor The Winner in a recent barrier trial, crossing the line in first position.

“He’s been doing everything right, he’s had one or two runs when he’s been a bit off but (trainer) Danny (Shum) has worked him out, freshened him up and it seems like he gets the best out of him.

“He’s a nice horse and going forward I think he’s going to be one of next season’s main sprinters,” Teetan said.

Teetan will renew a partnership with Lucky Eight at Happy Valley this evening (Wednesday, 31 May) in the Class 3 Sauternes Cup Handicap (1200m) for trainer Ricky Yiu.

“He’s in a race where he is capable to win again, he’s a horse that has been running well throughout the season,” Teetan said. “He’s got some good speed out of the gates, so I think he can get himself into a nice position.”

The Mauritian ace has steered Lucky Eight to all three of his wins in Hong Kong and hops back aboard tonight.

“He ran a good race last time, unfortunately he got a bit held up in the straight, but I have had a good connection with the horse before and it’s nice to get back on,” Teetan said.

This evening’s (Wednesday, 31 May) nine-race fixture at Happy Valley kicks off at 6.45pm with the Class 5 Tsun Yuen Handicap (1650m).