IT’S A rare occurrence in Hong Kong racing when a jockey is retained by a stable.
Trainer John Moore has done it twice in recent times while the mooted return of Joao Moreira as stable jockey for John Size in December will be another rare association.
With no jockeys’ agents allowed in Hong Kong, unless a foreign rider comes over and can’t speak English, jockeys are constantly on the phone or at the track daily, looking to book their rides throughout the season.
That’s unless you are the champion jockey. Then it’s the other way around, with trainers clamouring to retain your services, or you picking and choosing your rides.
Current champion Zac Purton has been in that position for a few seasons now, after plenty of success.
At Happy Valley this afternoon, Purton looks to have pinpointed a couple of horses who look ready to taste success again.
At 1.45pm, Purton teams up with David Ferraris’ galloper RAICHU over six furlongs. This is a horse with average ability, who only won once last season from 11 attempts.
His only success came when Purton rode him for the first and only time from just a 2lb lower mark in the handicap. Three encouraging efforts this season, will have him spot-on.
Earlier in the afternoon, the Australian wizard renews his association with a well-drawn LITTLE ISLAND over the extended mile at 1.15pm.
This unpredictable campaigner only visited the winner’s circle once last season when piloted by Purton over the track and trip in September. But from a 14lb higher mark in the ratings, he looks handicapped to win again.
Little Island 1.15pm Happy Valley
Raichu 1.45pm Happy Valley