It’s the Zac Purton and Douglas Whyte show again at Sha Tin on Sunday, with the two championship contenders likely to provide much of the excitement seven days out from the 2013 Hong Kong Derby meeting.
On Wednesday night, it was one-all at Happy Valley and Whyte remains three in front of Purton, but the Australian has a great set of rides to strike back at Sha Tin.
In the third, Purton climbs aboard Little Cow and, already the winner of 3 of his 5 starts and second in the other two, the rising star four-year-old is the one to beat up the straight 1,000m course.
Three races later, the shoe is on the other foot with Whyte piloting Little Men for John Size and the promising youngster will be at short odds to make it two on end after overcoming difficulties last time to win.
Each has a chance in an open feature, the Pok Oi Cup, but Purton might also have an eye on the performance of Albiceleste, ridden by South African Weichong Marwing for his second local start. Word has it that John Moore has offered Purton the former Italian horse in the Derby and a good performance might persuade him to take the ride.
Purton finishes the day with two improving three-year-olds in Grimmy (race nine) and Good Good View (race ten) for Dennis Yip, and the jockey will be disappointed if he hasn’t at least cut into Whyte’s lead by the time the dust settles.
Grimmy didn’t beat much in his debut win and rises in class but he did the job like a horse going somewhere, and it’s probably ditto, ditto for Good Good View, who raced wide but still drew away from modest opposition at his second start.
By Nathan Mody