The championships for jockeys and trainers in Hong Kong are down to the final stretch now, with only nine meetings left but no trainer able to get the upper hand while Zac Purton has told the media he is up against it despite trailing Douglas Whyte by two wins.
While Whyte was missing for 3 meetings, Purton clawed back only two victories on him and said his main supporters, Dennis Yip and Caspar Fownes, are battling to find winners themselves.
Whyte’s major partner, John Size continues to only chip away but, with Matthew Chadwick out suspended for the next 3 meetings, the South African could pick up some mounts from Tony Cruz.
Cruz is now the trainer most think can win the trainers’ title as he seems to keep picking up a winner here and there, though his team for the Dragon Boat Day public holiday Wednesday isn’t that exciting. It looks another day where the leading trainers can all get a winner but none looks dominant.
Fownes would be confident with promising My Favourite in the ninth off a smart win, while Yip has Mr Gourmet in the same position in the eighth and Size likewise with Dr Good Habit in the tenth race. All are lightly-raced, progressive and entering the next class up well-weighted after winning in Class Four.
Size is three off the championship pace but has the best prospects on Wednesday, saddling up two hopes in the opening race, One More Knight and Teofilo
Calva, then honest dirt sprinter O’Halo looks to have a winnable opportunity in the fifth and so does Khaya in the following race, both of them for Whyte.
And Purton’s words were borne out by his bookings – seven rides compared to Whyte’s ten, and his best chance looks Perfect Cheers in the final race.
By Nathan Mody