FOLLOWING another four-timer at Sha Tin last Sunday, the Zac Purton juggernaut rolls on to Happy Valley on Wednesday, with another seven strongly fancied rides on the eight-race programme.
The superlatives are running out for the five-time reigning champ. His ride to win on Lucky Sweynesse from an outside draw in the G2 Jockey Club Sprint over the weekend was awe-inspiring, and he is certainly one of the best pilots in the world at present.
With a dozen victories in the last fortnight, Purton is riding at a 33 percent win strike-rate. It’s no wonder the locals in the territory can’t get enough of him and, with crowds slowly but surely returning to the city track, racegoers must expect long queues and throngs of Purton supporters.
The Zac-Man teams up with former 11-time champion trainer John Size three times during the action at Happy Valley, including with the fast-improving BEAUTY TYCOON who makes his first visit to the inner-city circuit, in the first division of the Kowloon Bay Handicap (12.45pm) over six furlongs.
The Purton and Size combination have produced rich pickings for supporters already this season, with six wins and eight places from just 23 rides.
This Australian-bred galloper has always been highly regarded in the Size camp, and he finally got his act together when outpointing subsequent winner One Voice in good style at Sha Tin last month, before improving further when placed against better company three weeks later.
With his on-pace running style, and a low draw in his favour, he is mapped to follow the early speed set by course specialist (and dangerous) Yo Beauty, and then make his class show in the closing stages.
Highly-rated 10-pound claimer Angus Chung, and rider of Yo Beauty, may have better fortune when he climbs aboard the Frankie Lor-trained front runner BAEBAE TSOI in the first division of the Ngau Tau Kok Handicap (12.15pm) over the extended mile.
Lor’s stable are firing on all cylinders at present, with six winners already this month, and the booking of 26-year-old Chung is a major plus.
The combination has only teamed up seven times this season, but with an impressive record of two wins and three places.
Baebae Tsoi, a son of former Hong Kong Classic Mile winner Sweet Orange, suffered various health issues earlier in his career, but is far more the finished article this season.
Following an impressive all-the-way success over seven furlongs at Sha Tin in September, the five-year-old, carrying a six-pound penalty, improved further when placed behind subsequent winner Stunning Impact, again over seven furlongs, last month.
There is little doubt the step up to a mile will be in his favour, and provided Chung gets to the front from his outside draw early on and dictates the tempo, he will prove hard to catch.
Baebae Tsoi (e/w) 12.15pm Happy Valley
Beauty Tycoon 12.45pm Happy Valley