Top HK rider Purton wins second International Jockeys’ Championship
Reigning Hong Kong champion Zac Purton won the HK$800,000 (S$138,000) Longines International Jockeys' Championship (IJC) at Happy Valley on Wednesday night, after clinching a tense contest from Joao Moreira in a dramatic finale to the prestigious four-race series.
Tied with Moreira on 18 points heading into the deciding race, Purton collected an invaluable two points, after dead-heating for third aboard Flying Bonus with Wind N Grass (Tom Marquand).
Moreira, who needed to finish ahead of Purton in the championship-deciding contest, crossed the line in sixth place on Cue The Music.
On a landmark evening, when Briton Hollie Doyle became the first woman to win a leg of the IJC on the David Hayes-trained Harmony N Blessed, Purton totalled 20 points with a win, a second and a third under the 12-6-4 point format.
Purton's winner came in the third race, on the Tony Millard-trained Gift Of Lifeline. He beat Moreira, who rode Smiling City.
Moreira's 12 points came from his first leg win on the David Ferraris-trained Gouten Of Garo.
Doyle and Alexis Badel were tied for third, with 12 points each, after Badel's victory on Gallant Crown.
Purton, who also won the first two races aboard Run The Table and Speedy Optimist respectively, earned HK$500,000 as the IJC champion. It was the richest prize for this type of competition.
Purton also won the IJC in 2017.
Millard pocketed a HK$200,000 bonus as the most successful trainer of the series, for his double with Gallant Crown and Gift Of Lifeline.
The IJC contest involved 12 jockeys - six from Hong Kong and six from Britain and Europe. - HKJC