Purton's presence can prove the Goodluck charm as title duel hots up
9.05 Sha Tin
10.10 Sha Tin
10.45 Sha Tin
Slowly but surely Zac Purton is laying foundations for a serious run at a second Hong Kong jockeys' title.
Reigning champ Joao Moreira is in the driving seat– and his ability to ride much lighter than Purton is a major plus– but the colourful Aussie reduced his arch rival's lead to eight with his hundredth winner of the season at Happy Valley on Wednesday.
The fact that Moreira has a two-day ban looming adds further intrigue to the duel and Purton can nibble further into the Magic Man's lead at Sha Tin on Sunday withGoodluck Goodluck making particular appeal in the Onyx Handicap (9.05).
Ricky Yiu's gelding caught the eye on his debut and improved appreciably on his second start, splitting subsequent winners while giving the impression there should be more to come.
Team Spirit looks the danger under Moreira, but Goodluck Goodluck looked much better than a mark of 53 in a recent trial and anything north of 2-1 looks value as he links with Purton for the first time.
The question of whether to be with or against Purton is central to this card, so let's hope the following points prove worth noting.
Early birds might find value in recent trial winner Lady First if the Purton-ridden Solar Patch goes off very short in the 7.00, but Montreal's highly promising Hong Kong debut makes him hard to oppose even at skinny odds in the 8.00.
Purton hasn't seen another horse in making all three times on Handsome Bo Bo, but there will be more pressure on the lead in the Opal Handicap (10.10) and Moreira might just take advantage on Raging Blitzkrieg.
And so to the Tourmaline Handicap (10.45). Dr Geoff will be popular after a fine third behindRise High here, but the winner left a deep impression in clocking the fastest final 400m on a card featuring three Group 1s and that turn of foot can help him offset an 8lb hike.
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