Zac Purton has delivered a resounding reminder his quest for a fifth Hong Kong jockeys’ championship is very much intact with a Happy Valley five-timer on Sunday (6 February) as the Australian capitalised on Joao Moreira’s absence.
With fellow four-time champion Moreira starting a six-meeting ban, Purton put on a clinic to slash the Brazilian’s lead to 13 – 74-61 – as Purton’s fellow Australian Daniel Moor notched his first Hong Kong winner.
Injured in a race fall at Sha Tin on 12 December, Purton’s 11-win lead at the time over Moreira evaporated when he was sidelined for eight meetings and, entering today’s fixture, he faced an 18-win deficit. But, with a vintage display, the famously competitive hoop figured in the first three in all 10 races, also posting three seconds and two thirds.
“It’s nice to be riding a few winners again and hopefully things start to roll along a little bit more,” said Purton, who suffered multiple fractures in the accident. “I’ll just turn up, every meeting, every race and try and give my horses their chances and hopefully they can get it done for me.”
Addressing the title battle, Purton said: “We’ve got a long way to go and I’ve got to build myself back to where I was before, as well. I’ll just keep working at it.”