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Fast Most Furious for Purton and Hall

Zac Purton locked up a fourth Hong Kong champion jockey title when Fast Most Furious (130lb) carried him past the post for his 144th win of the campaign in the Class 1 Sha Tin Mile Trophy Handicap (1600m) on Sunday.

Fast Most Furious takes the feature under Zac Purton, photo Hong Kong Jockey Club

The Australian ace had an eight-win lead at the start of the 11-race card, and that was cut to seven when rival Joao Moreira pinched the opener. But with the Brazilian suspended for the finale at Happy Valley on Wednesday, Purton put the matter beyond ‘ifs’ in the afternoon’s fourth contest, thanks to the David Hall-trained galloper.

“It’s unfortunate that it doesn’t go down to the last day and make it more interesting, but Zac’s put his hand up and is a deserved winner, I think,” Hall said.

Purton enjoyed a sweet run in the feature. A smart break from gate one enabled the champ to ease his mount back and shift to a one-off position, sixth of the eight runners; switched wider on the turn, the seven-year-old revved upside market leader General’s Delight (118lb) and quickened past at the 250m point, with his ears pricking.

Preciousship (117lb) chased hard under 10lb claimer Jerry Chau but had to settle for second, half a length off the victor, who stopped the clock at 1m 34.28s.

“Zac just sat there patently, knowing he had the big weight. The pacing wasn’t super-fast so it wasn’t absolutely perfect for the horse but it was a smart ride and got the job done,” Hall said.

“He’s been a really good soldier for the stable, this horse. He just keeps turning up week in and week out; he’s won on the same day again.”

The Lope De Vega gelding won at this same fixture last year, when successful in the Class 2 Hong Kong Racehorse Owners Association Trophy Handicap (1400m). This time, he took his career tally to five wins from 29 races, having placed a neck third at his previous start in the G3 Lion Rock Trophy Handicap (1600m), behind Ka Ying Star and Southern Legend.

“It’s a good bit of karma I reckon because he deserved to win the last race,” Hall said. “It was a pretty good performance. It was just a matter of holding him together and getting the luck to go his way.

“There was a bit of a concern with the weight difference with Douglas’ horse (General’s Delight), he’s progressive and we had to give him 12lb so we needed a smart ride from Zac, and, as we all expect from him, he delivered in spades.

Hall is one of four trainers newly-licensed to utilise the Hong Kong Jockey Club’s facility at Conghua and his staff will be operational there from Wednesday (15 July).

We’ve all seen the results from Conghua have picked up a lot in the last six months and my own numbers have picked up and improved a bit, so this has come at the right time for me and I’m looking forward to it, because it will suit some horses, definitely,” the trainer said.

Hall fired a double when Sumstreetsumwhere rifled away with the Class 4 Big Profit Handicap (1400m) under Blake Shinn. It was the five-year-old’s second win at start 32, and first victory for Hall at his second start since transferring from the Peter Ho stable.

Hong Kong racing continues as Happy Valley on Wednesday, 15 July.

             
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