Joao Moreira and Zac Purton have continued their neck-and-neck race to claim the Hong Kong Jockey Championship and remain locked on 119 winners each.
Both riders scored doubles at Happy Valley on Wednesday night ensuring the fight for the championship would go down to the wire.
With 15 meetings remaining in the Hong Kong racing season, it’s shaping as a race to the finish line.
Moreira won a treble on Sunday night at Sha Tin to outscore Purton 3-1, but Purton was the first to strike back on Wednesday, saluting with his mount Dionysus Collin in the Tan Shan River Handicap.
The Australian’s winner was met with an instant reply by Moreira as he guided Lightning Steed in the Tai Shing Stream handicap in the next race.
Speaking to local press after the race, Moreria knew he had a winning ride on Lightning Steed.
“I rode him the time before, but Caspar (Fownes, trainer) said this time it would be a bit different.
“The circumstances today just allowed me to ride the horse how he likes to be ridden,” he said.
“He quickened down the straight in a way that he was never going to get beaten.”
Purton immediately hit back after a winning ride aboard Gold Dash to go one-up on Moreria. But the Brazilian ensure the pair would finish the night all evened up.
“We had a good draw so obviously that helped, but Danny’s done a good job to bring him back from injury,
“He’s given him plenty of time and a couple of runs to get him ready for this,” Purton said.
Moreria would sign off with another winning ride, this time bringing up his double on Shining Ace.
The star hoop’s ride on Shining Ace in soft conditions ensured when the duo shift their focus to Sha Tin on the weekend the battle will continue.
“It’s such a journey, but it’s a good one!” Moreira said.