Purton goes from strength to strength
Zac Purton made great leaps this season and left no one in any doubt about it as he claimed a treble and third place to Douglas Whyte and Brett Prebble on the jockeys' standings.
While the first two placegetters have been cemented in recent times, for Purton the third placing was a sharp advance on finishing 11th last year with 29 victories and HK$22.4 million in stakes - this time he landed 43 wins and HK$37 million in prize money and has laid down a great foundation for his third season.
The strongest part of his season was the final month, with 10 winners since May 31, and Purton even found favour in some new corners of the scene, yesterday landing his first victory for Gary Ng Ting-keung with Bayview Greyslew, before the Caspar Fownes-trained Telecom Gogo and Michael Chang Chun-wai-trained Amigo made it three.
'That was good to get one for Gary as I haven't had many rides for him and I think to really make it here you have to be able to show you can ride winners for a lot of different trainers,' Purton said.
'I was a bit fortunate that some openings came later in the season with the injury to Olivier Doleuze, with Eric Saint-Martin finishing up and quite a few of the other guys suspended. But when the opportunities did come I was able to take them.'
With star apprentice Matthew Chadwick remaining winless and anchored on 43 victories, Purton was able to snatch third on a countback of minor placegetters.