Purton's advice pays off as under-fire Ng avoids the stewards on his comeback
Alvin Ng Ka-chun was thrilled to punch a winner home on his return, but the under-fire apprentice simply considered it a success not to incur the wrath of stewards.
The 22-year-old had just served an eight-meeting ban, part of a staggering 22 days spent on the sidelines this term for careless-riding charges.
'I didn't even have to go into the steward's room,' Ng beamed after a day where he guided Rich Tapestry to a soft Class Two victory.
Stewards have employed Zac Purton to mentor Ng, and the junior rider said some technical advice from his Australian rival has already helped with staying out of trouble with stipes.
'It's great, Zac has already taught me a lot and given me a few suggestions,' Ng said. 'He said to me that when I come across in a race, I grab on the horse's mouth too hard when I try and save a little bit of energy, but he said that if you do that you will always get in trouble. He said to me, when you come across, 'just let the horse go, then ease if you have to'. I'm just trying to be a little more positive ... And as Darren Beadman said to me, with a seven-pound claim, I can afford to use that bit more energy - just try and get clear first and not get suspended.'
The race fell into place for Ng from gate two on Rich Tapestry, as he trailed the speed throughout.
'He jumped real good, and with the good draw, the run I got was so clean, I didn't even need to find a way out,' he said.
Ng's seven-pounds of relief was used astutely by Michael Chang Chun-wai, off-setting a nine point penalty from a last-start win, which had convinced the trainer his horse was purely a sprinter.
'He has staying pedigree, but he would jump good, and stop quick,' Chang said. 'So it looks like we made a mistake, this is not a staying horse.'
While Ng stayed out trouble, Ben So Tik-hung was given a one-meeting suspension and a HK$30,000 fine for his ride on the John Size-trained Glory Of India in the feature race.
The number of days Alvin Ng spent on the sidelines this season for careless riding