By Hans Ebert
He’s not exactly the fly in the ointment nor the third wheel, but one sees him more and more being the resident party crasher of the Zac And Joao Show and photobomber extraordinaire.
Yes, while The Zac Attack has raced away with this season’s Hong Kong Jockey Premiership like the dish ran away with the spoon, and the Magic Man comes up with his always dazzling repertoire of party tricks, there’s Karis Teetan, always smiling, always happy to ride another winner. And these days, that smile is becoming broader and broader.
Not being a stats man, but after a short lean spell, I don’t think any Hong Kong based rider has consistently ridden more doubles and trebles in recent months than the Mauritian Magician.
On Wednesday at Shatin, he not only rode another treble and also took out the Jockeys Challenge, he deprived his amigo Joao Moreira of two winners by overhauling him in two tight finishes.
Photo by Wallace Wan
Does he get the credit he deserves or the column inches or the television exposure given to lesser lights in the riding ranks? Don’t think so.
Has there ever been an interview with Tony Cruz and Karis Teetan? Not from what I can recall. And only a bloody fool would think that if Cruzy was to put the pedal to the metal and win this year’s Hong Kong Trainers Premiership, a key member of his winning team would be Karis Teetan.
“Goh” Tony is no one’s fool. He’s been around long enough to see who and what works in Hong Kong and who and what misses the mark. Karis Teetan works for him and his posse of loyal owners.
He might not be the most stylish and prettiest rider to ever sit on a horse, but who cares? He delivers as regularly as the postman.
By now, we all know his rags to riches story. And like Zac and Joao and Vincent, all of whom came from humble beginnings, riding against each other regularly in the cosmopolitan gumbo bowl of Hong Kong has helped each to raise their game. There’s more.
Like the “evolution” of Douglas Whyte, apart from working to be the best in racing, Hong Kong is a great learning academy when it comes to reading people, separating the wheat from the chaff, understanding how to conduct one’s self in public- and who with to not be seen- dressing for the occasion and seeing the future business opportunities at hand.
Shallow? Ambitious? More to do with looking after numero uno and never settling for second best.
Who wants to be just another thick brick in the wall? There are plenty of those around. Just go down to Amazonia or Escape- if they’re still even open.
These added people skills are especially needed in horse racing these days, where to rise to new heights, there’s a need to be the best PR man and business manager. It’s about not depending on anyone else to make this happen except for yourself.
Hong Kong forces one to do this in any profession- to be your own person- especially when not dependent on family connections and not arriving into the world with a silver spoon in one’s mouth.
That would be so much easier. But, one doubts when looking back on what you’ve achieved, there’s the satisfaction of knowing that you don’t owe anyone anything. That you and only you made it happen. How life made you go for that brass ring and you succeeded in grabbing it.
That’s what puts Zac and Joao, especially, in a class of their own. They’re self made men who came up the hard way, landed in Hong Kong, proved themselves and have been extremely well paid for their talents. Same goes for Karis Teetan.
Karis is man on a mission. He’s having serious fun crashing the Zac And Joao Show. He’s not a bit player. His track record speaks for itself. And it keeps speaking louder and louder.
I’m willing to bet that the Mauritian Magician has plenty more tricks up his sleeve.
For now, the spotlight on the Zac And Joao Show allows him the time and breathing space needed to fine-tune these talents.
#KarisTeetan #DouglasWhyte #MauritianMagician #ZacPurton #JoaoMoreira #HKracing