Blizzard wins the G3 Chinese Club Challenge Cup last season.
©Hong Kong Jockey Club
By Andrew Hawkins
Jockey Karis Teetan is looking forward to reuniting with an old friend when he partners Ricky Yiu’s honest speedster Blizzard in the G1 Centenary Sprint Cup (1200m) at Sha Tin on Sunday (28 January).
Teetan was one of Blizzard’s earliest partners when the Starcraft gelding was making his way through the grades, first pairing with when he won a Class 3 event in April, 2015. He then was aboard as Blizzard won his first three races to start the 2015/16 season, but the Mauritian jockey – who has a record of seven rides for four wins and two placings on the chestnut – was last on his back in a Class 1 in September, 2016.
“It’s good to ride Blizzard again, it’s been a long time,” Teetan said at Sha Tin on Tuesday morning (23 January). “I always liked how honest he was, but he’s gone to another level since then. His last run in the Hong Kong Sprint was very good and I was excited when Ricky asked me to ride the horse again.”
Teetan trialled Blizzard over 1200m on the Sha Tin dirt last Friday (19 January), with the horse passing the post in second, a neck behind Seasons Bloom.
“It was a nice trial, I didn’t want to ask him for too much but he did enough for me,” he said. “I think he’s ready for this weekend and he meets many of the same horses as last time, so hopefully he can run well again – he usually does.”
The booking on Blizzard this weekend is part of a two-race “package deal”, with Teetan also slated to ride the horse in the G1 Takamatsunomiya Kinen (1200m) at Chukyo in March should the galloper return to Japan for the second time this season. In October, he finished fifth in the G1 Sprinters Stakes (1200m) at Nakayama, beaten just over a length by Red Falx.
“They told me that I could ride him here and also in Japan, and I definitely didn’t think that was a bad thing!” Teetan said. “I know Japan, and last time he ran very well over there. Ricky said he’s the best horse to travel with, he’s so quiet, so that’s a good sign. And he was able to come back and hold his form against some of our best horses, too.
“I’m just hoping he runs well enough this weekend to justify the trip back to Japan.”
Blizzard is among eight entries for the Centenary Sprint Cup. The John Size-trained pair Mr Stunning and D B Pin, who finished ahead of Blizzard in the Hong Kong Sprint, are joined by progressive stablemate Beat The Clock, while Tony Cruz’s Peniaphobia is aiming to make it three Centenary Sprint Cups in four seasons. G1 winner Lucky Bubbles also lines up, while Not Listenin’tome and Lucky Year complete the octet.
Sunday’s other feature is the G1 Stewards’ Cup (1600m), where Teetan will partner Peter Ho’s rising star Fifty Fifty in his toughest test against six Group 1 winners, including Beauty Generation, Helene Paragon and Time Warp.