BANK on reigning champion jockey Zac Purton to partner New Zealand import ROUND THE EARTH to an overdue victory when he lines-up in the Lawn Bowls Handicap (8.00am) over nine furlongs at Sha Tin on Sunday.
Purton, as per normal, has a host of winning chances on the 10-race programme, notably Prince of Porty, who seeks to compensate supporters for an expensive last-start defeat in the Badminton Handicap (9.35am) over six furlongs, and ultra-consistent Tuchel in the Para Sports Coach Handicap (10.10am) over a mile.
A more attractive proposition, however, is the David Hall-trained Round The Earth, who now finds himself down in class, despite his recent form suggesting a first win is imminent.
The four-year-old found the winning post coming too soon, when finishing strongly around the tight Happy Valley circuit last month, but his course and distance effort, when fourth to Woodside Bro back in February, highlights his chance.
On that occasion, he produced the second fastest closing sectional time in the race, when finishing strongly in a highly competitive handicap to be beaten only a neck into fourth place.
That form has been subsequently advertised by rivals Champion Dragon and Pegasus General both winning races since.
When Purton and trainer Hall team-up, it’s likened to a money-making machine, with the partnership having already combined for 10 wins and 13 places from just 38 rides this season.
An inside gate three is another obvious bonus to his chance and, in a contest which won’t take much winning, it will be disappointing if Purton can’t steer Round The Earth to victory.
Round The Earth 8.00am Sha Tin