The Premier Plate Handicap (1800m) kicks off a Group 3 double header at Sha Tin on Sunday (24 June) and the first of the afternoon’s features will see trainer Tony Cruz provide jockeys’ premiership rivals Zac Purton and Joao Moreira each with an opportunity.
“Zac is on Exultant (133lb) and Joao rides Romantic Touch (120lb),” Cruz said. “They’re both very focused and they both want to win, so it’s good for me to have these jockeys on my horses.”
Purton and Moreira both have taken advantage of a blank in the race programme this past Wednesday to head out of town and recharge for the season’s final seven meetings. Purton’s tally of 124 wins has him five clear of the defending champion.
“The way things are, it looks like Joao and Zac could each ride three or four winners; look at last Saturday when they each rode three. Zac has the upper hand in the title race right now but it’s going to be a great battle to the finish,” observed Cruz, a six-time champion jockey in his younger days.