Zac Purton is running second in the jockeys’ championship in his fifth Hong Kong racing season but must feel more like a visitor at Happy Valley on Wednesday, with a jungle of difficult draws to overcome.
Racing on the C track, the second-widest rail placement, a low draw is usually a positive and Purton has been dealt a hand full of double digit gates, but one of his best mounts, Able Magic for Paul O’Sullivan has managed to come up with an inside barrier in the third.
He chased home Invictus in strong times last start and looks a very competitive chance of going one better this time.
Tim Clark looks a jockey to follow, with several excellent chances including Hei Hei Posh (race five) and Jazzy feeling in race two.
Jazzy Feeling has caught the eye at both his runs to date, finishing well for a close fourth then an equally good third, both of them around Happy Valley and the three-year-old appears ready to break through for a win from a nice draw.
Clark has formed a good relationship with Hei Hei Posh – three rides for two wins and a second – and the gelding drops back in grade after finding Class Three just beyond him at his last couple of runs.
Late on the card, Jolly Victor makes his reappearance and the Tony Millard-trained four-year-old gets his chance – albeit after the fact– to make his Derby case once more.
Millard was bitterly disappointed that Jolly Victor was not given a wild card chance in the Hong Kong Derby despite his low handicap rating, so the trainer will be wanting to make an “I told you so” stand at Happy Valley with a win as the Zabeel gelding enters Class Two for the first time under a light handicap.
By Nathan Mody