Purton and Moreira leading the Hong Kong Jockeys’ Premiership Scoreboard
Just after 3 meetings, the Jockeys’ Premiership in Hong Kong leaderboard is already starting to look familiar with the circuit’s three-time champions Joao Moreira and Zac Purton already threatening to edge away from the pack.
Moreira heads into Sunday’s Sha Tin fixture with a full book of 10 rides, reigning champ Purton has nine.
On Wednesday night at Happy Valley, Purton has four wins so far. Moreira collected a brace to top up his treble from three days prior, for a tally of five wins and counting.
Purton is booked for Racing Fighter (124lb) in the weekend’s standout contest, the Class 2 Tailorbird Handicap (1200m), and is aiming to seal a hat-trick of victories on the Dennis Yip-trained five-year-old, despite drawing gate 11 of 12.
Purton has ridden the Mastercraftsman gelding in each of his last seven races, winning three and making the frame in all of the other four. Two of those wins came back-to-back to round out the smart grey’s 2018/19 season.
The John Size-trained gelding has a career record of five wins from 14 starts, and two from eight last season.
But the Brazilian believes the five-year-old “has been improving”, and, even though the horse “might need a few runs to show his best”, he has some confidence that Raging Storm is in good enough heart to run well from gate six.
The afternoon’s trophy contest is the Class 3 Fakei Cup Handicap (1200m), in which New Asia Sunrise (123lb) will attempt to build on an eye-catching first-up run on opening day.
The Me Tusi-trained seven-year-old has not won since a Class 2 1400m score – rated 95 – back in May 2017. But the gelding, who peaked thereafter at a mark of 103 and is now down to 70, boxed on gamely for third behind the rising talents Golden Sixty and Mr Croissant last time.