Jockey Zac Purton is heading towards his best season in Hong Kong and took his tally to fifty wins with a long priced double at Sha Tin on the week end.
Purton who is in his fifth season in Hong Kong has edged to a clear second position on the jockey’s table in front of fellow Australian Brett Prebble who is on forty-two.
But both riders are well behind tearaway leader Douglas White who holds an unbeatable lead on ninety-two wins.
Purton had set his sights on riding fifty winners for the season and now that he has achieved that goal will go flat out to rack up as many wins as he can to maintain his spot high up on the jockey’s list.
“I think 50 wins or more has to be regarded as a pretty decent season,” Purton said.
“I didn’t quite get there two years ago, then I got 53 last year and I’ve still got plenty of time left for this to be my best season.”
Purton was a little surprised to score a double on the outsiders with Strathtay starting at 42-1 for trainer David Ferraris and his second leg winner Samadhi (54-1) for trainer Manfred Man Ka-leung.
“I had one or two chances but generally I didn’t have high expectations so it’s nice to get out with a double,” Purton said.
The longest of Purton winners, Samadhi was going into the race with ordinary form but Manfred thought that he was ready to run an improved race from an inside barrier draw.
“His form looked nothing on paper but Manfred actually gave the owners a small push before the race to say that he thought he would run a better race,” Purton said.
“I had gate one and he was able to use it and he travelled well most of the way, then he showed that he had done his early racing going the other way and he’s still got a few things to iron out,” Purton said.
Top Australian jockey Craig Williams narrowly missed out on riding a Group 1 winner in Japan when second on Donau Blue in the $US2.3 million Victoria Mile in Tokyo on Sunday.
Williams was able to get the best out Donau Blue after the filly was disappointing in the Nakayama Himba Stakes in March and with a more positive ride finished second to the consistent Whale Capture.
Whale Capture had come through her three year old season with seconds in all three legs of the fillies’ triple crown and deserved her breakthrough win in Group 1 company.