- Purton suffers fall, still manages four victories
- Moreira salutes with quartet
- Exultant defends Champions & Charter Cup
- Thanks Forever grabs elusive Group win
In a night full of action and drama both Joao Moreira and Zac Purton walked away with four wins apiece.
While Sha Tin delivered the Brazilian and Australian a quartet of wins each, it didn’t come without drama
Purton had his head banged against the starting gate before race seven. He was then thrown off his mount when Regency Bo Bo stumbled after the start of race ten.
Thankfully for Purton he avoided major injury and while the Stewards and medics conducted a health check, he walked away mostly unharmed.
The (Hong Kong Jockey) Club was worried, I wasn’t,” he said.
It was a remarkable night for Purton who guided Exultant to a fifth Group One win in the G1 Standard Chartered Champions & Chater Cup (2400m).
He also rode well-loved Thanks Forever to his first Group win in the G3 Sha Tin Vase Handicap (1200m).
“He deserved it, he’s been racing well this season,” Purton said of Thanks Forever.
“It was a race he really had to win from that gate (two) with that weight.
“The speed early was really slow, and then they made it a good sprint home, so he had to chase hard and he did it well.”
It becomes Thanks Forever’s fifth win after 16 career starts.
The gelding has been gallant in elite company, placing in the G1 Centenary Sprint Cup (1200m) and last month’s G1 Chairman’s Sprint Prize (1200m).
“He really has deserved that,” Moore said. “He’s been a model of consistency without winning one of the black type races.
“Purton got off the fence quickly, he got himself into one out, one back, and he was very aware – even before the race – that he’d have to pay attention to the pace set by Moreira on Hot King Prawn.
“We knew if we gave him too much start we wouldn’t pick him up.
“He was able to pick him up and he was strong through the line.
“At the 300 I wasn’t so sure, but when Zac got into him and he got him into gear I thought he was strong.”
Moreria salutes with four victories of his own
While Moreria didn’t snatch any group-winning rides, he still took home four victories of his own on the 11-race card.
Of his wins Sunday night, Moreira guided the Me Tsui-trained Enjoy Life to the Class 4 Mighty High Handicap (1600m).
Good Luck Friend hit the line first for the Yiu stable in the Class 3 Werther Handicap (1200m), he guided maiden winner Scores of Fun to the Class 4 Mr Medici Handicap (1200m) for trainer John Size and capped his night off with the Caspar Fownes-trained Defining Moment in the Class 3 Blazing Speed Handicap (1800m).
Moreira and Purton remained all tied up in the Jockey’s Championship with 123 apiece with 14 meetings remaining in the Hong Kong racing season.