ZAC Purton will be having sleepless nights! We may only be eight meetings into the season, but the reigning HK champion jockey’s deadly rival Joao Moreira is back to his brilliant best.
Moreira already holds a four win advantage over Purton in the championship race, but it was the Brazilian’s breathtaking ride on My Winner at Sha Tin on Sunday that proved the ‘Magic Man’ is on fire at the moment.
Weaving his way through rivals and then pouncing late on the Purton-ridden Sprint Forward must have had the present champion in despair. The smiling face of Moreira after the winning line said it all.
Both jockeys have a strong-looking book of rides at the Valley this afternoon, but it may be Purton, who excels around the tight-turning course, who can come out on top.
Purton’s rides include a couple of lightly-raced but progressive gallopers who look primed for the winners’ circle.
First up is the Caspar Fownes-trained AURORA PEGASUS who lines up in the six-furlong Nakayama Handicap (1.15pm).
He was strongly fancied on his seasonal reappearance, but was outpointed in the closing stages at Sha Tin.
He is sure to improve for that run, and from an ideal draw he is going to be hard to beat. The principle threat will be Zero Hedge, ridden by Moreira.
Fownes and Purton will surely be disappointed if the fast-improving SNAP FIT doesn’t complete a hat-trick and give them a double in the closing Kyoto Handicap (3.50pm) over five furlongs.
This New Zealand-bred five-year-old won with his head in his chest in June and should prove a better class than his rivals.
Aurora Pegasus 1.15pm Happy Valley
Snap Fit 3.50pm Happy Valley