Zac Purton has claimed ultimate honours in the HK$800,000 LONGINES International Jockeys’ Championship tonight (Wednesday, 9 December) at Happy Valley after clinching a tense contest from Joao Moreira in a dramatic finale to the four-race series.
Tied with Moreira on 18 points heading into the deciding race of the contest, Purton collected an invaluable two after dead-heating for third aboard Flying Bonus with Wind N Grass (Tom Marquand).
Moreira, who needed to finish ahead of Purton in the championship-deciding contest to add another accolade to his bulging collection, crossed the line in sixth place on Cue The Music, failing to improve his score.
On a landmark evening when Hollie Doyle became the first woman in history to win a leg of the of International Jockeys’ Championship on David Hayes’ Harmony N Blessed, Purton totalled 20 points under the 12-6-4 point format to deny Moreira (18).
Doyle and Alexis Badel were tied for third with 12 points each after Badel’s victory on Gallant Crown.
Hong Kong’s reigning champion jockey, Purton posted a treble at the meeting while also earning HK$500,000 – the richest prize in racing for competition of this type – as LONGINES IJC champion.
Tony Millard pocketed the HK$200,000 bonus as the most successful trainer of the series after notching a double with Gallant Crown and Gift Of Lifeline in the third leg, who was ridden by Purton in the pair’s first successful collaboration since 2015.