The jockey championship battle between Zac Purton and Douglas Whyte moves back to the front of discussions at Happy Valley on Wednesday night after Whyte was hit with a three-meeting suspension for not riding a mount right to the line last Sunday.
That could undo all his hard work in the past week to cut Purton’s lead back from five wins to one, so Whyte will be wanting to join or head the Australian rider at the top of affairs before he starts that penalty after this weekend.
It won’t be any easy task on Wednesday, with Purton looking to have at least one real standout ride in the night’s trophy event, race six.
The highly-promising Genuine Leader from the Tony Millard stable is very lightly-raced for a five-year-old, with only six starts, but faces only modest opposition.
He is coming off three straight wins over the course and distance, the latest two earlier this season in October, when resuming from a long break, and then again in November before Millard elected to freshen him up once more.
Purton also looks to have great winning chances in the first race with White Hart King, Twin Turbo in the fourth and Travel Guide in race five.
For his part, Whyte has one solid mount for his regular supplier, John Size, with Turbo Jewellery in the seventh race but a wide draw is an issue there .
His best might prove to be Diamond Angel in the third – still looking for his maiden Hong Kong win but back to Happy Valley where his form is sound and the draw suits – or in the final race with Galaxy Prancer, who broke through after a string of minor placings last time out and faces a similar assignment although up in the weights.
By Nathan Mody