Exultant battled to victory in the HK$10 million Standard Chartered Champions & Chater Cup (2400m) at Sha Tin this afternoon (26 May) as man-of-the-moment Zac Purton notched a record seventh Group 1 win in a Hong Kong season, one more than the six Joao Moreira achieved in 2014/15.
The star stayer’s success was Purton’s fourth in a sparkling six-timer today that included both Group race features – his G1 score followed a triumph on the David Hall-trained Little Giant in the G3 Sha Tin Vase Handicap (1200m). And it could have been a magnificent Purton seven had Fast Most Furious not failed by a nose in the finale.
“It’s been a nice day, I can’t complain!” Hong Kong’s champion said.
The Australian ace landed back in Hong Kong early this morning after coasting to victory atop Southern Legend in Singapore’s SIN G1 Kranji Mile last night.
Exultant’s win – an equal blend of guts and class from the Tony Cruz-trained gelding– took Purton’s season’s tally in Hong Kong to 130. He ended proceedings on 132, just four shy of his all-time best.
“Exultant was all heart today,” the rider said. “He pulled in the run, which he hasn’t done for quite some time and he was gone at the 600 (metres) but his big heart just continued to carry him to the finish line. It was a good, tough, strong effort from a horse that hasn’t let us down, he’s been great all season. That’s credit to the horse and Tony.”