Zac Purton gets a free punch at champion jockey Douglas Whyte on Sunday at Sha Tin, with Whyte away partnering Glorious Days for John Size in the Group One Yasuda Kinen in Tokyo.
After closing the deficit in the championship to four on Wednesday night, Purton will be out to put himself on level terms again while Whyte is missing and he starts the day with a real chance for Paul O Sullivan on big finisher Bernard s Choice.
O Sullivan has trained just one winner in the last four months but this six-year-old mare drops into Class Five for the first time and looks like getting the solid lead tempo that suits her.
Purton will be playing a lead role in the sixth and seventh races, too, piloting Pleasure Gains and the runaway last-start winner Bobo Dragon for Manfred Man.
Tommy Berry has made no secret of the fact he won t be looking to return to Hong Kong full time next season but that hasn’t stopped him being picked up by quite a number of stables now.
Berry has been kicking home virtually a win a meeting and has quickly slotted in as a regular on runners from the stables of Ricky Yiu and John Moore.
Berry finished second on Graceful Kingdom for Yiu when the three-year-old made his debut and he will be well-fancied to go one better in the fifth race on Sunday, while Moore-trained Approve is already a winner for Berry and looks one of the chances in the eighth. His booking for Kabayan in the last is an interesting one.
Berry won at Wyong on the gelding at his race debut and was aboard when Kabayan moved nicely in a recent trial, though he faces solid, race fit opposition on Sunday and may just take the run.
By Nathan Mody