Zac Purton

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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Jockey Club Meeting Draws Hong Kong Heavies
Jockey Club Meeting Draws Hong Kong Heavies

With a few notable exceptions, Sunday's Jockey Club programme at Sha Tin Racecourse has attracted more than two dozen of Hong Kong's top gallopers, each of whom have an eye on the Longines Hong Kong International Races, now just over three weeks away. Reigning Horse of the Year Exultant (Ire) (Teofilo {Ire}) is set to face eight other rivals as he preps for the G1 Longines Hong Kong Vase (2400m) in defence of his title in the G2 Jockey Club Cup (2000m). Winner of 11 of his 26 local appearances,...

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Asian Notebook: Almond Eye Confirmed For Japan Cup

Almond Eye (Jpn) (Lord Kanaloa {Jpn}) is likely to have the final start of her illustrious career in the G1 Japan Cup (2400m) at Tokyo Racecourse, her trainer Sakae Kunieda announced through the Twitter account of the Silk Horse Club syndicate that campaigns her. The 5-year-old daughter of Fusaichi Pandora (Jpn) (Sunday Silence) swept the Japanese Filly Triple Crown in 2018 and capped a Horse of the Year campaign with a smooth 1 3/4-length defeat of front-running Kiseki (Jpn) (Rulership {Jpn}) in the Japan Cup. She added the G1 Dubai...

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Global Group Of Trainers, Jockeys Reflect On The Pandemic

Racing has been fortunate to forge ahead in 2020 without crowds, but it is imperative that they return as soon as possible. That was one of the overriding themes of the third panel of the virtual International Conference of Horseracing Authorities released on Monday and entitled "Participating and working in racing during a global pandemic." Moderator Rishi Persad spoke with trainers Charlie Appleby, Chris Waller and Ger Lyons as well as jockeys Hollie Doyle and Zac Purton about the experience of being a racing professional in 2020. "When the country...

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Exultant Named Hong Kong Horse of the Year
Exultant Named Hong Kong Horse of the Year

Exultant (Ire) (Teofilo {Ire}) was named 2019/2020 Horse of the Year in Hong Kong Thursday in a virtual ceremony, as stricter social distancing protocols within the context of a third wave of coronavirus in the region put pay to the scheduled live proceedings. Bred by Ballygallon Stud, Exultant won four of his seven trips to the post during the season, calling on all his class and stamina for victories in the G1 FWD Queen Elizabeth II Cup (2000m) and a successful defence of his title in the G1 Standard Chartered...

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'Ex'-clamation Point!
'Ex'-clamation Point!

Like a championship-level pugilist deep into the 12th round of a heavyweight bout, Exultant (Ire) (Teofilo {Ire}) was a spent force entering the final furlong of Sunday's G1 Standard Chartered Champions and Chater Cup (2400m) at Sha Tin. But, calling on the resiliency, determination and toughness that have come to characterise his time in Hong Kong, the 6-year-old willed himself to the wire to win the 12-furlong affair for the second year running. His second Group 1 win of the season--he was exiting a similarly tough victory in the Apr....

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