In an extraordinary display of excellence, Zac Purton has again stamped his authority on Hong Kong racing, posting a personal-best of seven wins to dominate at Sha Tin on Sunday (9 October) and take an iron-grip on the 2022/23 jockeys’ championship.
On an incredible day, Purton’s career-high of seven was underscored by Harry Bentley’s treble on the 10-race card, while Benno Yung took training honours with a treble from Danny Shum and John Size, who both notched doubles.
But, by any measure, it was the ‘Zac Purton Show’ with his three unplaced rides – Campione (fourth), All Is Good (fourth) and The Irishman (fifth) – all finishing in the top five as a gauge of elite consistency and ambition.
After only nine meetings, Purton has tallied 21 wins – more than doubling the haul of nearest rival Vincent Ho (nine) – and in the absence of Joao Moreira and Karis Teetan, the Australian maestro is forging relentlessly towards a sixth championship.
“It was nice, all the horses ran well. I had a couple there that let me down a little bit, but you can’t be too picky – it’s been a good day,” Purton reflected. “Seven wins is good.
“It’s nice that the trainers and the owners are supporting me. I had a couple of nice horses today but you still need the right barriers, the track bias, the tempo – all of those things – in your favour and you need the horses to turn up on the day.
“It’s not easy, but I suppose when it comes together, it certainly feels good.”
Moreira, who is sidelined with a hip issue, holds Hong Kong’s all-time record for the most wins at a single meeting with eight victories from 11 races at Sha Tin on 5 March, 2017.