Zac Purton hopes he can take advantage of rival Joao Moreira’s absence and make a move towards the top of the jockeys’ championship with a strong book of rides at Happy Valley on Wednesday night (25 October), most notably Starlight in the Class 3 Perfect Gear Handicap (1200m) and Winwin Ruby in the Class 3 Dordenma Handicap (1650m).
Purton sits second in the riders’ title race with 19 wins, five adrift of three-time Champion Jockey Moreira. However, with the Brazilian sitting on the sidelines for the next two meetings through suspension, Purton is hoping to bridge that margin.
“It has been good to get a few wins recently,” Purton, who has ridden doubles at the last three meetings, said at Sha Tin on Tuesday morning (24 October). “I’ve had a lot of seconds and a lot of bad barriers to deal with as well, so I’m happy with how I’ve gone so far. I’m due for some good gates and hopefully they come quickly. I’m not far away.”
Both Starlight and Winwin Ruby are among those who have drawn well for the Australian rider on Wednesday night, each drawing gate two in their respective races.
Starlight (131lb) enters the Perfect Gear Handicap as a winner of three of his last four races, all over the Happy Valley 1200m. He now finds himself as topweight in the Class 3 contest, but Purton believes he is capable of winning once again.