Zac Purton

Golden Sixty Repeats As Hong Kong HOTY

Golden Sixty (Aus) (Medaglia d'Oro) joined the likes of Hong Kong legends Fairy King Prawn (Aus), Silent Witness (Aus), Ambitious Dragon (NZ) and Beauty Generation (NZ) in being named Horse of the Year in Hong Kong for the second consecutive season during ceremonies held Friday evening at the Hong Kong Jockey Club's Happy Valley Clubhouse. The 6-year-old won his first two starts of the year, including a facile defence of his title in the G1 Longines Hong Kong Mile in December, but suffered just the second loss of his career...

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Diabolical Derby Draw for California Spangle

The connections of the speedy California Spangle (Ire) (Starspangledbanner {Aus}) were hardly doing cartwheels after their Hong Kong Classic Cup (1800m) winner was assigned gate 10 in a full field of 14 for Sunday's HK$24-million BMW Hong Kong Derby at Sha Tin Racecourse. The winner of six of his eight local starts, California Spangle made all in the Feb. 27 Classic Cup, having endured a tough trip when second to Romantic Warrior (Ire) (Acclamation {GB}) in the Hong Kong Classic Mile back in January. But jockey Zac Purton admits that...

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Romantic Warrior Shoots For Six Straight In Classic Cup

European-sourced Romantic Warrior (Ire) (Acclamation {GB}) has answered every question that has been asked of him in his five racetrack appearances to date and will look to keep the ball rolling as the horse to beat in Sunday's HK$12-million Hong Kong Classic Cup at Sha Tin Racecourse. A 300,000gns purchase by the Hong Kong Jockey Club at Tattersalls October in 2019 and later re-sold for HK$4.8 million at the unique Hong Kong International Sale, Romantic Warrior annexed his first three starts, each over six furlongs, and proved easily best when...

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Waikuku Stuns The World In Stewards' Cup

The Omicron variant of the COVID-19 pandemic dictated that there would be no one on hand Sunday at Sha Tin Racecourse to 'witness' the running of the G1 Stewards' Cup. But there was a collective 'silence' right round the world when Waikuku (Ire) (Harbour Watch {Ire}) crossed the wire three-parts of a length to the good of the virtually unbeatable Golden Sixty (Aus) (Medaglia d'Oro), who saw his attempt to equal the winning streak of Silent Witness (Aus) go by the wayside while tasting defeat for just the second time...

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Euros Win Three, But Purton Defends Title In Longines IJC

European-based jockeys managed victories in three of the four races comprising Wednesday's Longines International Jockeys' Championship at Happy Valley Racecourse on Hong Kong Island, but consistency was rewarded when Zac Purton--out of luck on the evening--had the last laugh, placing in all four legs to take home the HK$500,000 (£48,558/€56,739) first prize. Currently atop the jockeys' premiership in Hong Kong, Purton was winning the IJC for a third time in five years, having taken it in 2017 and again 12 months ago. He joins Frankie Dettori and Douglas Whyte as...

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Moore, McDonald Lead International Cast For Longines IJC

Eight high-profile overseas jockeys will join four Hong Kong-based riders to compete for the HK$500,000 top prize in the Longines International Jockeys' Championship to be held at the iconic Happy Valley Racecourse on Hong Kong Island Wednesday, Dec. 8. Ryan Moore is set to jet in to make a 15th appearance at the IJC, having dead-heated for the spoils with John Murtagh and Christophe Lemaire in 2009 before winning the title outright 12 months hence. Moore, who has finished on the podium four times since his most recent victory, currently...

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Rising Star Worth the 'Weight' at Sha Tin

'TDN Rising Star' Nervous Witness (Aus) (Star Witness {Aus}), who has seen his rating soar by 28 points in his first two career trips to the post, carries 133 pounds as the top-weight in Sunday's Suisse Programme H., a Class 3 test over the straight 1000 metres Sunday afternoon at Sha Tin Racecourse. Owned by Archie, Betty and Teresa Marie da Silva and campaigned in the green-and-black colours of the legendary Silent Witness (Aus) (El Moxie), the 4-year-old gelding was the $13 (3-10) favourite on debut Sept. 5, scoring by...

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Nervous Witness A Star On the Rise in Hong Kong

by Alan Carasso Crushed at the tills into $12 (1-5) favourtism to build on a smashing debut effort Sept. 5, Nervous Witness (Aus) (Star Witness {Aus}) absorbed plenty of mid-race heat, but responded to that challenge to annex a Class 3 event over the Sha Tin straight 1000 metres by 3 3/4 lengths, becoming the second Hong Kong 'TDN Rising Star' Friday afternoon. Drawn high towards the stands'-side rail, Nervous Witness was away alertly, but was pressed to his outside by Brilliant Fortune (Aus) (Deep Field {Aus}), with a sectional...

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Beauty Generation Retired

Beauty Generation (NZ) (Road to Rock {Aus}--Stylish Bel {Aus}, by Bel Esprit {Aus}), a two-time Hong Kong Horse of the Year and only horse to surpass the HK$100 mark in career earnings, has been retired after his fifth in Sunday's G1 Longines Hong Kong Mile. He will live out his days at Living Legends in Victoria, Australia, alongside other Hong Kong retirees Silent Witness (Aus), Mr Stunning (Aus) and California Memory, among others. Bred by Nearco Stud Ltd., Beauty Generation was purchased for NZ$60,000 by Kylie Bax's Hermes Syndications from...

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Soumillon Clears Quarantine

Jockey Christophe Soumillon told Hong Kong Jockey Club officials that a negative result was returned on his most recent COVID-19 test and with that, he has completed all necessary quarantine requirements as set out by the Hong Kong SAR Government. The Club will require that Soumillon take further tests beginning Saturday in accordance with established protocols and the earliest he may accept mounts will be Sunday, Dec. 20. The Belgian is on a short-term contract through Feb. 14 and was to ride Sunday's Longines HKIR, but was stood down Thursday...

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Purton By a Nose In Longines IJC As Doyle Lands a Winner

For the second time in four years, Zac Purton, Hong Kong's leading jockey in each of the last three seasons, hoisted the trophy following the Longines International Jockeys' Championship held Wednesday evening at Happy Valley Racecourse. But a fair bit of the spotlight shone upon Hollie Doyle, who capped a fairytale season with a victory in the fourth and final leg of the series, good for a share of third place in the competition. The 24-year-old, who along with her partner Tom Marquand was part of a six-strong European contingent,...

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Longines IJC Gets HKIR Week Rolling

The Longines International Jockeys' Championship, set for Wednesday evening at iconic Happy Valley Racecourse, marks the true start of Hong Kong International Races week, as 12 of the world's top jockey's compete for the HK$500,000 winner's share of the HK$800,000 on offer. Though the crowds won't be there, owing to an uptick in the number of COVID cases over the last few weeks, six locally based riders will face a half-dozen of their peers that have jetted in from Europe, with a revised format in the distribution of mounts that...

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