Purton gets ball rolling on Aerovelocity
Longines Hong Kong Sprint (Group 1) | 3yo+ | 6f | turf
Zac Purton, second on Secret Weapon in the Cup, had already enjoyed a Group 1 double on the card. It began in the sprint, in which he partnered Aerovelocity to hold off the surging Lucky Bubbles by a short-head.
The winner was regaining the race he had won as a six-year-old in 2014 and in so doing became the oldest winner of the race since its inception in 1999.
Lucky Bubbles could certainly be called unfortunate, however, as jockey Brett Prebble was forced off the rail leaving the back straight to challenge wide and yet just failed.
The Richard Fahey-trained Growl, the only British and Irish challenger in the field, finished last of the 13 runners.
Winning rider Zac Purton said: "With 100m to go I was very confident of winning but with 50 to go I could feel Lucky Bubbles starting to breathe down on me and I was looking at that post and just praying for it to come quicker and quicker.
"Out of all his wins this is probably the most satisfying one because we've had some trouble with him and he's older now, so Paul [O'Sullivan, trainer] had to pull out everything out of his trick bag to get him in the condition he is today, so the credit should go to him and his stable."
Locally-based trainer O'Sullivan added: "I certainly expected him to be in the money, it was just a question of if time had caught up with him. To win was just fantastic. He's certainly a quirky horse, but he's the bravest I've ever put a saddle on."
Longines Hong Kong Mile (Group 1) | 3yo+| 1m | turf
Purton gained his second Group 1 prize of the afternoon when Beauty Only swooped down the outside to secure the Hong Kong Mile.
With only favourite Able Friend drawn outside of him, Purton was forced to drop out Beauty Only and challenge widest on the home bend.
The pair got something of a jump on Able Friend, who ended up wider still as the field fanned out across the track, but while the favourite's effort petered out Beauty Flame shot to the front inside the final 200m and held on by half a length from Helene Paragon. Joyful Trinity got third in a three-way photo finish.
Purton said: "I was racing earlier than I wanted but I knew he has a big set of lungs on him and he's finished off strong."