Trevor Reid: The Hong Kong Jockey Championship is well into the home stretch with just two race meetings left and Zac Purton still holds a three-winner advantage and that is quite a steep challenge for Joao Moreira to overcome.
Both head into Wednesday’s Happy Valley meeting in outstanding form, with Purton having had four winners at Sunday’s Sha Tin meeting and Moreira four winners and four seconds.
Moreira holds a slight advantage on Wednesday, with rides in all eight races while Purton has just the six rides.
In Race 1 is an open looking race but the money has come for Moreira’s mount LETSGOFREE (No 2) who is favourite on the TAB. Purton’s TELECOM TITAN (9) has pole-position draw but is at R7.90 a Win.
Purton goes missing in Race 2 and Moreira rides the current favourite at R3.90 on TAB, No 11 LIGHTNING MISSILE. A look at his form though shows the gelding has yet to win after nine starts, so it will take a brave man to rely on LIGHTNING MISSILE.
Purton gets his first favourite ride aboard No 1 LAMAROSA in Race 3 and from a good draw can go close. Moreira is drawn just on his outside and No 12 NASHASHUK will be fit and ready for this race.
Race 4 sees Moreira on the better ride and No 2 SICHUAN BOSS could be a banker bet for his supporters. This Pins gelding is in good form and deserves a win. From draw 4 Joao will give it every chance of doing just that. No 8 CHARITY WINGS will have pole position draw advantage for Purton but CHARITY WINGS has not been at his best in his last two starts.
In Race 5 Zac may be able to pull a win aboard No 4 SKY MELODY. This gelding is coming off a career best run and is drawn well in Stall No 3. No 8 HAR HAR HEART always gives of his best and although poorly drawn is value at his current R10 a win on the TAB.
Advantage Purton in Race 6 as his mount No 3 SAUL’S SPECIAL does have ability and is clearly the one to beat. A wide draw will make it tough for Moreira on No 9 BEAUTY LOYAL.
By Race 7 Moreira might be needing a winner to stay in touch and No 8 SOLOMON’S BAY may fill that role. This lightly raced four-year-old gelding has shown promise in his two starts and could be ready to win.
If by Race 8 Moreira hasn’t had a winner it is not likely that he can get No 1 MONEYMORE home for his connections as this three-year-old has been well beaten in all three of his starts. The mount of Purton No 2 STARLIGHT on the other hand has some form behind him and will be sent out favourite for the race.
It seems likely that Zac Purton will head into Sunday’s final meeting with a lead. Just how much of a lead though, will be the question.