Michael Cox



Karis Teetan back on Romantic Warrior for highly anticipated Group 1 clash

The popular jockey missed nearly three months – and two big wins on Romantic Warrior – but he will reunite with the star four-year-old for a G1 clash with California Spangle and Golden Sixty.

Karis Teetan is back on track, on the winner’s list and looking forward to the remaining seven months of the season, which includes getting back aboard the freakish Hong Kong Cup winner Romantic Warrior in next month’s G1 Stewards’ Cup. 

The Mauritian returned from nearly three months on the sidelines last week and rode his first winner since September at Happy Valley on Wednesday, but it was climbing aboard his star ride Romantic Warrior at trackwork on Thursday that really had the jockey feeling at ease. 

“It felt good to get that win on Wednesday, it’s been a long rough journey the last few months with lots of ups and downs, but things seem back to normal now,” he said. “The win meant a lot, it built my confidence up and now I am getting back on Romantic Warrior.” 

Trainer Danny Shum confirmed to Asian Racing Report that Teetan would ride Romantic Warrior in the Stewards’ Cup after the jockey’s thyroid problem forced him to forgo the ride on the 2022 Hong Kong Derby winner in the G2 Jockey Club Cup and last Sunday’s Hong Kong Cup cakewalk. 


Karis Teetan was back amongst the winners at Happy Valley on Wednesday. (Photo by HKJC)

Superstar rider James McDonald flew in for both wins but connections had assured Teetan throughout that he would be back on board once his medical condition had cleared. 

Teetan even rode Romantic Warrior in a key gallop less than two weeks out from last Sunday’s  Group 1 but on race day he was 20 lengths back, last in the field, on rank outsider Savvy Nine as Romantic Warrior tore away to one of the most dominant International Day victories of all time. 

“I always knew how good he is and we were very confident that he would start the season where he left off,” Teetan said. “We knew he was better than most of the horses here, but we needed him to prove it against the international horses. He certainly did that, he smashed them. 

“Danny and the connections wanted to see that. He had already proven that he is the best middle distance horse in Hong Kong, but he proved on Sunday he is world class. 

“It was outstanding, there was just no luck about it, just ability.” 

Teetan was at Shum’s stables on Monday morning to give his beloved horse a pat and was on the horse’s back on Thursday morning for a canter on the small dirt track at Sha Tin. 

“You know every time I got off after working him last season I would say to Danny, ‘I think this horse is getting better,’ and it is a scary thought, but I got off him this morning and said the same thing,” Teetan said. 

The Stewards’ Cup over a mile on January 29 looms as one of the most anticipated Hong Kong races in recent memory as the two standout milers Claifornia Spangle and Golden Sixty – who have fought out two epic battles at the distance already this season – square off against Romantic Warrior. 

“It will be nearly one year to the day since we beat California Spangle in the Classic Mile and both of them have come a long way since. Spangle proved something on Sunday as well, and we must not forget about Golden Sixty, he will still be there. 

“What I will say about my horse is that he can become physically and mentally stronger and he is in good hands. They give him so much attention at Danny’s stables.

“I am not going to make any big claims about the race, I know he is coming back to a mile – but the feeling he is giving me, he has improved and is still improving. 

“We will find out how much he has improved again next month; it is the three best horses in Hong Kong and it’s going to be an exciting race.” 



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