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Antoine Hamelin heads to Happy Valley full of praise for shock winner Tattenham

Antoine Hamelin hopes Tattenham can follow up his shock win at Happy Valley two weeks ago when he lines up in the Class Four Hing Wah Handicap (1,200m) on Wednesday.

After a string of underwhelming efforts, punters were stunned as Tattenham became the longest-priced winner of the season, saluting by a nose at $74 in the Class Four Flying Handicap (1,200m) on October 18.

After missing out on prize money in his first six Hong Kong starts, Tattenham’s victory was as much of a shock to his jockey Antoine Hamelin – who was hopping aboard for the first time –

as it was to anyone.

“It was a surprise, but I had nothing against him, and he gave me a good feel during the race,” Hamelin said.

Before joining the Pierre Ng Pang-chi stable, Tattenham had recorded one win from two pre-import starts in Australia – with his sole victory being on soft ground over 1,300m at Cranbourne.

Tattenham’s win at Happy Valley was the first time he had encountered good-to-yielding ground since arriving in Hong Kong, but Hamelin is confident the speedster can be equally effective on a quicker surface on Wednesday.

“I don’t think faster ground will be a problem. He’s a thinking horse, if he wants to go, he’ll go,” Hamelin said. “I hope he can do the same again. We have a good draw in the race and if he runs like he did last time, I think he’ll have a good chance.”

The four-year-old is drawn in gate four in Wednesday’s contest, where he will face 11 rivals,

including the unexposed High Percentage, Kokushi Musou and Karis Teetan-ridden debutant Ever Victorious.

Teetan heads to Happy Valley with a nine-strong book of rides and reignites his partnership with Denfield in the Class Three Hing Yip Handicap (1,200m).

A last-start winner under Zac Purton on October 4, Teetan believes Denfield could still be on an upwards curve as he prepares to tackle Class Three company for the first time on Wednesday.

“He won nicely last time, and I think he’s a progressive horse. This time he’s going to have a light weight on his back, and I think he’s going to run well,” Teetan said.

“I think there’s more to come. He’s done it with a heavy weight on his back, and he goes around the Valley like it’s nothing for him. With a lighter weight, I think he should get his chance.”

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