Zac Purton has forged to a double-figure lead over arch-rival Joao Moreira in the 2021/22 Hong Kong jockey’s championship after slotting a quartet at Happy Valley on Wednesday night (20 October), crowning the display with victory aboard Harmony N Blessed in the Class 3 The LONGINES Cup Handicap (1000m).
Leading Moreira by eight wins before the meeting, Purton strengthened his buffer with victories aboard David Hayes’s Harmony N Blessed, Tony Cruz’s Viva Popcorn, Dennis Yip’s Stormtrouper and Benno Yung’s Diamond Brilliant, while Moreira mitigated the damage with success on Danny Shum’s impressive newcomer Romantic Warrior.
A four-time champion jockey of Hong Kong, Purton now leads the 2021/22 race with 25 wins to Moreira’s 14 after 12 meetings, attributing a blistering start to the strong form of the Hayes and Shum’s stables.
“Generally, my trainers take a little while to get going at the start of the season, but Danny came back with a purpose that he wanted to get going early and so did David,” Purton said.
“So, two stables having horses ready early, gets me rolling early and then I get feed off that and get support from other stables and then it’s the flow-on effect.