Racing

Purton kicks home a treble

HK champion now eight winners clear of Karis Teetan in premiership table

A bulging contacts book is an asset to any Hong Kong jockey and champion Zac Purton added another name to his list of winning trainers when Applause aced the Hong Kong Golf Club Centenary Cup for up-and-coming trainer Jimmy Ting at Happy Valley on Wednesday night.

Ting's impressive start to his first campaign shows no sign of slowing down with the season almost a third over but, until Wednesday night, his success had been built on a wide range of riders other than the champion.

Purton had only had one mount for Ting before this but the Aussie seized his chance on the 3.2 favourite, driving the chestnut home a neck ahead of longshot Better Choice to give Ting his 20th success at a strike rate of better than one in five.

"Jimmy is going terrifically well and he's obviously a trainer I'm looking to ride more for," said Purton, who started the ball rolling with Kwaichung Brothers for trainer Richard Gibson in the opening event.

"I'm not sure what his edge is but he's training a lot of winners - and that's all that matters."

Purton starts a three-meeting ban after this Sunday's Sha Tin fixture but he ended the night with a treble to leave himself eight winners ahead of Karis Teetan at the top of the table.

Trebles all round was the motto after Smart Baby completed the final leg in Race 5 as the Caspar Fownes-trained gelding was completing his own three-timer after two Valley successes in November. - HKJC

HORSE RACING