Fownes Keeps Purton’s Championship Hopes Alive

Zac Purton has compiled a great strike rate with trainer Caspar Fownes this season and they link again with last-start winner Gracytom at Happy Valley on Wednesday night.

Purton has won 14 of his 59 rides for Fownes, including Hurry Hurry Up last weekend, and that relationship has been crucial to Purton’s championship hopes.

Low grade galloper Gracytom has done all his winning in Class 5 at Happy Valley and the step up from 1,000m to 1,200m won’t be an issue as he is already a winner over the trip there.

Purton has another very solid book for the midweek fixture and wouldn’t surprise with more than one winner.

He also rides Demon Demon in the fourth and the gelding is placed to get his maiden Hong Kong win after finally drawing a better starting gate. He has raced well but found outside draws too much to overcome recently in similar races but gate six might allow Purton to get a better trip on him.

Another top jockey, Brett Prebble has had a frustrating run of late, without a win since April 7 and runner-up on six of his 24 subsequent mounts, including three seconds last Saturday.

His best chance at the Valley lies with Diligent III in the fifth and back-up sprinter Green Zone has a claim in the seventh race. Prebble is the only jockey to have won on Diligent III and the gelding was back to his best for the Australian rider last start, finishing a close second over Wednesday’s course and distance.

Green Zone’s wins have been on the all-weather track rather than turf to date, but he raced well at Sha Tin on Saturday over 1,000m on the turf and his form at Happy Valley has generally been much better than there.

By Nathan Mody

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