Locked in a familiar battle for Hong Kong jockeys’ championship supremacy with Joao Moreira, Zac Purton is optimistic Beauty Joy and Oriental Smoke can continue the Australian’s charge towards a fifth title at Sha Tin on Sunday (27 March).
Leading Moreira 94-90, Purton has nine rides across the 10-race card and is hopeful Tony Cruz’s Beauty Joy can reprise winning ways in the Class 2 Cheung Shan Handicap (1600m) after finishing third behind Cheerful Days at Happy Valley over 1650m last month.
“He’s a quirky horse. He was jumping out of the gates really well early in the season and, as he’s progressed, he seems to be taking his time to come out of the gates and getting himself in a little bit of an awkward spot,” Purton said.
“I thought his last run was solid but it wasn’t as good as the performance he put up at his Happy Valley win prior to that. His trial since has been okay so, coming back to Sha Tin where he seems to be a little more comfortable in the gates and seems to jump a little bit better here, he can get himself in the right spot.”
Beauty Joy opened his campaign four runs ago with victory over a field which included Turin Redsun, last start winner Rise Brethren and The Irishman.