Fifty Fifty looms as Group horse
Peter Ho-trained grey gives jockey Karis Teetan second leg of double
Jockey Karis Teetan believes he may have found a pair of headline gallopers to strengthen his season after he bookended Sunday's Sha Tin card with promising types Alcari and Fifty Fifty.
Teetan partnered trainer Ricky Yiu's three-year-old Alcari to win the Class 4 Chung On Handicap over 1,000m on debut, before the Peter Ho-trained Fifty Fifty produced arguably the day's most impressive win in the Class 2 Yeung Uk Handicap over 1,400m.
Fifty Fifty entered the Class 2 closer having won last time out in Class 3, settling midfield over 1,200m.
With the step-up to 1,400m, Teetan had Fifty Fifty contesting the lead early before landing in the box seat - an ideal spot, except when the field bunched around the 500m leaving the Mauritian rider searching for room.
Manoeuvering from the rail to the centre of the track approaching the 300m mark, the Thorn Park grey sprinted powerfully to win by one-and-a-half lengths over Racing Supernova.
"They slowed up between the 800m and 400m, so Karis had nowhere to go at the top of the straight," said Ho.
"Luckily, the field was not that strong and he had a feather weight so it didn't matter too much. But still, to win in the manner he did was very good to see."
"He's a small horse, but I think Peter has a nice horse on his hands," he said.
"I did have to shift out at the 300m, but the way that he picked himself up and got moving suggests he's heading higher."
Ho said that Fifty Fifty is bound for Group races later this season, but is likely to face Class 2 company again next start.
"I might give him one or two more runs at 1,400m, I'll see how he pulls up," he said.
"There are a few 1,400m Class 1 and Class 2 races around, and, ideally, I'd like to run him in Class 2 next time. I could see him being a horse who runs in the 1,400m (Class 1) on international day, and then the second half of the season, he might be in Group races over a mile."
Earlier, Alcari made a taking impression at his first start, racing clear from Lucky Lucky to win by two-and-a-quarter lengths untouched over the straight 1,000m.
"Last season, I jumped him out and I could tell then he was a very nice horse," said Teetan.
"I was just a little bit worried because he always works so good in the mornings, I wasn't sure what he would have when I let him off the bit. But that was impressive, and Ricky always had a high opinion of him - and he would know too."
"Ricky has a great record with these three-year-olds, horses like Fairy King Prawn, Sacred Kingdom and Blizzard. I'm not saying this horse will be as good as them, but he is in the right hands."
Alcari was the first leg of a running double for Yiu, who also sent out Amritsaria to win the Class 5 Hoi Pa Handicap over 2,000m with Brett Prebble aboard. - HKJC