Zac Purton locked up a fourth Hong Kong champion jockey title when Fast Most Furious (130lb) carried him past the post for his 144th win of the campaign in the Class 1 Sha Tin Mile Trophy Handicap (1600m) on Sunday, 12 July.
The Australian ace had an eight-win lead at the start of the 11-race card, and that was cut to seven when rival Joao Moreira pinched the opener. But with the Brazilian suspended for the finale at Happy Valley on Wednesday, Purton put the matter beyond ‘ifs’ in the afternoon’s fourth contest, thanks to the David Hall-trained galloper.
“It’s unfortunate that it doesn’t go down to the last day and make it more interesting, but Zac’s put his hand up and is a deserved winner, I think,” Hall said.
Purton enjoyed a sweet run in the feature. A smart break from gate one enabled the champ to ease his mount back and shift to a one-off position, sixth of the eight runners; switched wider on the turn, the seven-year-old revved upside market leader General’s Delight (118lb) and quickened past at the 250m point, with his ears pricking.
Preciousship (117lb) chased hard under 10lb claimer Jerry Chau but had to settle for second, half a length off the victor, who stopped the clock at 1m 34.28s.
“Zac just sat there patently, knowing he had the big weight. The pacing wasn’t super-fast so it wasn’t absolutely perfect for the horse but it was a smart ride and got the job done,” Hall said.
“He’s been a really good soldier for the stable, this horse. He just keeps turning up week in and week out; he’s won on the same day again.”