Pick Number One stays unbeaten on dirt
Jockey Zac Purton reckons Danny Shum-trained winner needs a break
The Danny Shum-trained Pick Number One maintained his unbeaten record on dirt when winning the Class 3 Oak Maritime Handicap over 1,200m under jockey Zac Purton at Sha Tin on Sunday.
Pick Number One has now taken his career record to three wins, all on dirt, from four starts on both surfaces with his three-quarter lengths victory.
But, Purton thinks the three-year-old might now be in need of a break.
"He's done a good job to come as far as he has, but quite possibly he's at the end of it," said the Australian.
"There was a lot more pressure in the race today, he was a little bit uncomfortable on the corner, so he's done well to balance himself up again and find like he did. However, he was gassed on the line."
Shum indicated that a spell would be on the cards for Pick Number One, with the handler slightly disappointed by the Darci Brahma gelding's win over Chung Wah Spirit.
"He's a nice horse but it is a little bit disappointing. I thought he would've won a bit easier," said the trainer.
"I spoke to the owner, and we'd like to give him a six to eight-week break and freshen him up."
Pick Number One was one of two promising three-year-olds ridden by Purton, with the jockey earlier partnering trainer Dennis Yip's unbeaten galloper Lean Perfection in the Class 4 Great Harvest Group Handicap over 1,200m.
"He's been working really well," said Purton.
"I was caught wide without cover but they really slowed up in the middle of the race, so it actually helped my cause to a certain extent.
"When I clicked him up, he showed a good turn of foot and he has a nice will to win - he has plenty of scope."
The other jockey to score a double on the card was Pierre-Charles Boudot.
The Frenchman scored his first Sha Tin win aboard Shum's G-One Union in the opener, the Class 5 Hong Kong Shipowners Association Handicap over 1,400m.
He quickly made it a double in the following race when steering the David Ferraris-trained Ambitious Heart - the younger brother of Shum's stable star Seasons Bloom - to a narrow victory in the Class 4 Wah Kwong Maritime Transport Handicap over 1,400m.
"This is a very good rider, very strong - there's something very much like Christophe Soumillon with Pierre-Charles," said Ferraris.
"Plenty of similarities. It was a tremendous ride, he got him into a tremendous spot and it was great to watch." - HKJC