While Zac Purton nailed a quartet of wins all told at Sha Tin on Sunday, Joao Moreira also snared four on the 11-race card. The big two carved up the races with merciless intent, each attempting to beat the other to a fourth Hong Kong champion jockey title.
The Brazilian took the Class 4 Mighty High Handicap (1600m) on the Me Tsui-trained Enjoy Life and the Class 3 Werther Handicap (1200m) on Good Luck Friend for the Yiu stable, and then delivered the John Size-trained first starter Scores Of Fun to win the second section of Class 4 Mr Medici Handicap (1200m).
Moreira celebrates aboard Good Luck Friend, photo Hong Kong Jockey Club
He wrapped up his four-timer on the Caspar Fownes-trained Defining Moment in the Class 3 Blazing Speed Handicap (1800m).
Purton and Moreira ended the day as they had started it, locked on the same number of wins, this time a tally of 123 apiece. The reigning champ also scored on the Frankie Lor-trained Armor Star in Race 2.
“It’s not much fun: I wish Joao would go home and make it easy!” Purton quipped.
Antoine Hamelin brought a temporary intermission to the Moreira-Purton show in race seven with a strong-driving win on the Tony Millard-trained Yee Cheong Pegasus in section one of the Class 4 Helene Super Star Handicap (1200m).
After Regency Bo Bo’s mishap at the outset of the penultimate race, the Class 3 California Memory Handicap (1400m), Millard sealed a brace when the Karis Teetan-ridden Amazing Chocolate streaked five and a quarter lengths clear.
Neil Callan drove the Paul O’Sullivan-trained Band Of Brothers (125lb) to a late-thrusting nose success over Glorious Spectrum (127lb) in the concluding Class 2 Viva Pataca Handicap (1400m).
Hong Kong racing continues at Sha Tin on Wednesday, 27 May.