Sometimes one thinks that he’s the Rodney Dangerfield of Hong Kong racing. No matter how many doubles and trebles and winners he rides, sure, the efforts are applauded though he’s still to be seen as being up there with the Magic Man and the Zac Attack.

Maybe this suits Karis Teetan just fine. It takes the pressure off. The Mauritian Magician is not expected to come up with new tricks every race meeting.


Photo: @wallacewank

He’s not the prettiest rider to a watch, something that hasn’t gone unnoticed by a few racing pundits and even one of his biggest supporters- Trainer Tony Cruz. But what they all agree on is that Karis Teetan delivers. Horses travel for him.

Was former champion Hong Kong rider Basil Marcus a pretty watch? He wasn’t exactly poetry in motion- but he was a tough rider to get past.

This same tenacity is what makes Karis Teetan the Mauritian Magician with the ability to pull rabbits out of his hat and have the last laugh.

This is what makes him so popular with local racing fans and owners and trainers. It’s about winning. Horse racing is not exactly a beauty pageant for jockeys.

There’s something else: No matter what curves life might throw his way, he’s out there smiling, happy, enjoying his work and showing everyone that now familiar sunny disposition. These days, this is a priceless commodity to have. No one has time for prima donnas.

On Saturday at Shatin and one of those rare Saturday meetings, the Mauritian Magician produced another double and won the Jockey Challenge. This evening at Happy Valley, he rode another winner.

By now, Karis Teetan has been in Hong Kong for quite a while. He’ll always be the unknown jockey from South Africa by way of Mauritius who rode his first winner on his first ride in this city and the first race of the 2013 racing season. He had arrived before the “Welcome” carpet had been laid out. What an amazing ride it’s been since then.

While thinking about the role The Karismatic One and his very important role in the Hong Hong racing cast of players, let’s not forget how quickly Alexis Badel and Antoine Hamelin have made names for themselves in what is always mentioned as being “the most competitive racing environment in the world”.


Photo: @wallacewank


Photo: @wallacewank

All this is to take nothing away from Zac Purton and Joao Moreira, easily two of the best riders in the world with very contrasting riding styles and personalities. Who needs cookie cutter anything? Variety is the spice of life. Even McDonald’s is constantly changing its menu and has sacked the scary Ronald McDonald.

This is to remind us in Hong Kong of how fortunate we are to have these international riders here along with extremely good home grown talent like Vincent Ho, Derek Leung, Matthew Chadwick, the Poon Train and boom apprentice Jerry Chau.

These and almost every other rider doing the best they can despite considerable and very different pressures should be celebrated.

Twitter and tweets are fine- and also easily forgotten.

In this bilingual and trilingual city, what about fan pages just as a group of passionate local racing fans have done on Facebook? No one asked them to do it. They became their own Nike slogan.

With this in mind, there’s no better time than here and now to replace the same old same old with a damn good spring cleaning and reboot.

That often one dimensional “racing bubble” must be pricked.

Whether the new abnormal or the new normal, whatever it is must be be allowed in.

From here, the narrative will change organically and whatever will be will be like that one time hit by Doris Day.

#KarisTeetan #MauritianMagician #hkracing #international #AlexisBadel #AntoineHamelin #VincentCYHo #DerekLeung #MatthewChadwick #PoonTrain #JerryChau #change #wallacewan