Super Football’s BMW Hong Kong Derby (2000m) aspirations will be put to the test this Sunday at Sha Tin as he shoots for a hat-trick of wins and a boost in the ratings high enough to warrant consideration for Hong Kong’s most prestigious race in a fortnight’s time.
Trained by Jimmy Ting, the youngster has soared into calculations for the HK$24 million contest on 21 March with two smart wins over the mile at Sha Tin, but this weekend he faces his stiffest test yet in a hot edition of the Class 2 Daisy Handicap (1800m).
“I think he’s continued to improve, I hope he can run well again, especially with a good draw - this is his last chance to get into the Hong Kong Derby,” Ting said of the son of More Than Ready who raced in New Zealand as Holy Mongolemperor.
Drawn in gate three, the Trelawney Stud-bred gelding will be partnered with lightweight jockey Karis Teetan for the first time as he steps up in grade and to nine furlongs for the first time.
“The concern is that it is his first time in Class 2 - I still don’t know whether he is good enough or not,” Ting said.
If successful this weekend and selected for the Derby, the gelding would become Ting’s first ever runner in the ‘blue riband’ event after being licenced as a trainer at the beginning of the 2018/19 season.
“This is his last chance, there are no more races for him to get into the Derby, so I hope he runs well – I think he is a longer distance horse, anywhere from 1600 metres to 2000 metres are his best distances,” the handler said.
Mauritian ace Karis Teetan hops up for the first time, his ability to ride light affords him the opportunity aboard Super Football, doing so with the hope of capitalising aboard an in-form and on-the-up horse.
“He’s progressing nicely, his two wins have looked pretty solid and it’s good to be jumping aboard him at the right time, he has a light weight and that’s why I have the opportunity,” Teetan said.
Teetan’s exploits at the bottom of the scale has reaped success before, notably aboard Aethero in the 2019 G2 Jockey Club Sprint (1200m) when the then three-year-old was allotted the 113lb minimum.
“He’s a lovely horse - I worked him with another horse and he’s very competitive which is a good sign – I think he’s going to progress into a very nice horse,” Teetan said.
Teetan is committed to riding Hong Kong Classic Cup (1800m) runner-up Russian Emperor in the Derby but will look to fend off 13 rivals in Sunday’s feature with the hope of securing a spot for Super Football in the third and final leg of the Four-Year-Old Classic Series.
“I’ve committed to Russian Emperor for Douglas Whyte but it’s nice to hop on Super Football this weekend because these horses get into these races with low weights, it’s a nice opportunity, so let’s hope he does well and gets into the Derby,” the Mauritian said. -HKJC