NO PRIZES for guessing who the headline act will be when racing gets underway with a nine-race programme at Happy Valley today.
Champion Jockey Zac Purton reached new heights at Sha Tin last Sunday, riding his first ever seven-timer and sending home his many thousands of supporters with bulging pockets full of dollars.
The Zac-Man can do no wrong at present, with 21 victories after just nine meetings and a staggering 13 wins from his last 45 mounts.
With another full book of rides at the city track where he is the dominant force, you can guarantee there will be long queues at the betting windows and terminals with punters clamouring to include Purton in all their exotic and multiple wagers.
If the Aussie champ should strike early on the card, and it’s highly feasible, all the many running-on bets will see his remaining rides start at prohibitive odds, notably Five Elements in the Pedder Handicap (12.45pm) over six furlongs, and Comet Splendido in the HKEX Cup (2.45pm) over the extended mile.
Both gallopers look primed to score overdue victories but, at the prevailing odds, are not going to offer any value.
While Purton is carrying all before him, his once great friend and fellow trainer Caspar Fownes is having problems at present.
With his go-to rider and ally Joao Moreira sidelined for the foreseeable future, the proclaimed ‘King of the Valley’ Fownes is having to find suitable riders for a stable full of in-form horses.
With five of his six winners this season coming at his happy hunting ground, Fownes will surely be confident of adding to that tally as he sends a seven-horse raiding party, containing plenty of potential winners, to the city track.
JUMBO FORTUNE, who has always looked a galloper with plenty of talent, finally gets his chance to shine in the feature race, the Class 2 Man Yiu Handicap (1.15pm) over the extended mile.
This son of Pride Of Dubai wasn’t helped by a weak looking ride from Moreira – the Magic Man called it a day after the meeting, citing health and injury woes – when a close-up fourth behind Telecom Fighters on his first attempt at the mile.
That form can be rated much better than his finishing position and, off bottom-weight with Matthew Chadwick in the saddle, he can gain compensation.
Later on, his stable companion JUMBO LEGEND is another who can be excused a recent disappointing effort with Moreira aboard, when lining-up in division one of the Finance Street Handicap (2.15pm) over six furlongs.
He is much better than that previous run suggests and with power-packed Vincent Ho aboard he can step up markedly on previous form from an ideal handicap mark.
In the same contest it may pay to have a saver on OUR CLASS ACT who makes a quick return after finishing eighth last week. He was desperately unlucky in that contest.
Jumbo Fortune 1.15pm Happy Valley
Jumbo Legend 2.15pm Happy Valley
Our Class Act (e/w) 2.15pm Happy Valley