Zac Purton has Joao Moreira’s single season record back in his sights after a blitzing six-timer at Sha Tin this afternoon (Sunday, 7 July) took the champion jockey to within striking range.
The Australian had all but written off his chances of matching his Brazilian rival’s epic 170 – set in the 2016/17 season. Purton entered the campaign’s third-last fixture today requiring 12 wins: his timely haul left him six behind with 20 races remaining, spanning nine at Wednesday’s Happy Valley meeting and 11 at next Sunday’s Sha Tin finale.
“Six winners is a huge effort, of course it is, but I still need six more just to match Joao and I don’t know if I’ve got the horses to do that,” he said.
The ace rider completed his fourth six-timer of the campaign aboard the Frankie Lor-trained Marvellous World in the Class 4 Beijing Clubhouse Handicap (1200m).
Purton’s fifth win came in race seven and turned up the heat in the trainers’ premiership. An astute ride on the John Moore-trained Magic Success took the handler to within one win of long-time leader and defending champion John Size.
“It’s going right to the wire,” Moore said after seeing his season’s tally increase to 73. “On Wednesday, we’re very strong, and then on the last day we have the big boys out again when Thanks Forever will be back out with Zac on board.”
Size has a good hand to play on Wednesday night too when both handlers could saddle eight runners apiece.