JOCKEYS Zac Purton and Joao Moreira, currently serving up a show of their own in Hong Kong, look likely to go head-to-head again at Happy Valley today.
It’s all-square in the championship race with both riders on 117 wins, and the pair have a full-book of rides on the nine-race programme.
Unsurprisingly, both pilots ride horses that will be at the forefront of the betting and it wouldn’t be huge odds on them going through the card.
Purton maybe the undisputed master around the inner-city track, but on this occasion it appears Moreira may have the edge.
Today’s racing takes place on the tight ‘C+3’ track, with past results showing it’s difficult for horses to win over the extended mile with double-figure draws.
Moreira finds himself on the back-foot when he partners the hat-trick seeking Simply Fluke who, once again, has drawn an outside gate in the Shan Pui River Handicap (Div II – 2.15pm) – the ninth time that has happened in his last 10 races.
The Brazilian has twice been at his magical best on the Douglas Whyte-trained five-year-old in the past month, but his luck may run out when he comes up against the Purton-ridden JADE PHOENIX in the six-furlong contest.
Trainer Frankie Lor hasn’t had a winner since the end of April, but he has hit the crossbar a dozen times in that period, and it’s only a matter of time before he welcomes another winner.
Lor, in fact, could have broken his losing sequence half-an-hour earlier, when he saddles ARES, with Purton aboard again, in the Shan Pui River Handicap (1.45pm).
The son of Zacinto prepped well for this contest with a recent impressive trial win and will be hard to beat.
Moreira could already be on the scorecard earlier in the day when he partners a couple of Caspar Fownes-trained runners.
The useful LIGHTNING STEED is sure to be ridden more patiently this time, after an expensive defeat last time, in the Tan Shan River Handicap (12.45pm) over the extended mile, while progressive sprinter EXPLOSIVE WITNESS will now be in peak condition for the Kam Tin River Handicap (1.15pm).
Moreira rides probable favourite Happy Good Guys in the opening Shan Pui River Handicap (Div I – 11.45am) and the back-to-form Salto Olimpico in the Tan Shan River Handicap (12.15pm).
With Purton getting the leg up on the speedy Amazing Star in the Ho Chung River Handicap (3.50pm), it’s anyone’s guess who will be leading the championship race by the end of the day.
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Tickets are just £2 and the winner will have the top jockey riding a horse in silks chosen by them in a race next season.
For more information or to enter, visit: https://www.racehorselotto.com/frankie-dettori-nhs-raffle
Lightning Steed 12.45pm Happy Valley
Explosive Witness 1.15pm Happy Valley
Ares 1.45pm Happy Valley
Jade Phoenix 2.15pm Happy Valley
PYRAH’S PLACEPOT PICKS
1.15pm – 2
1.45pm – 1
2.15pm – 2 & 4
2.45pm – 7 & 9
3.15pm – 2 & 8
3.50pm – 2 & 7