Racing

Purton edges closer

Australian's brace take him to only two behind Moreira in HK jockey's quest

Reigning champion jockey Zac Purton has moved to only two winners behind Joao Moreira in the battle for riding supremacy with a Happy Valley double on Wednesday night.

The brace moved him to 85 winners to Moreira's 87.

Amazing Star put a mishap in the gates last month behind him with an impressive win in the Class 2 Begonia Handicap over 1,200m to secure Purton a double and his sixth win from the last two race meetings.

"There were some very fast horses in that race and I drew wide, so I expected them to make me work a little bit but he just has so much natural speed," said Purton.

"He seems to get there fairly comfortably. Then it's just a matter of getting him to switch off in the run and then for him to relax because he's very competitive."

The Darci Brahma gelding broke cleanly but was forced to settle wide throughout from Gate 11, before being able to slot in outside of the leader, Moment Of Power.

The five-year-old hit the front in the straight to record a 3/4-length success.

"He's so used to being in front on his own and he had to adapt tonight and I thought he adapted quite well . It was credit to him," said Purton.

Trainer Jimmy Ting was also pleased that his plan had come to fruition with the gelding.

"If he didn't break through the gates last time, I think he would have won. But anyway, he needed to trial and, in that, he was lucky that the same leader was in the trial as tonight because I wanted to see if he could sit and chase a little bit which he did," said Ting.

The handler suggested that his gelding had earned a break, after securing his fourth win this term off a mark of 94 after kicking off his campaign on 58.

Purton kicked off his double in the opener, grabbing the Class 5 Wistaria Handicap over 2,200m aboard Garlic Yeah for trainer Dennis Yip. - HKJC

HORSE RACING