Purton slowly catching leaders
Zac Purton chalked up his 20th winner for the season and moved into fifth position in the jockeys' premiership care of a patient ride on the Paul O'Sullivan-trained Rain Of Thunder.
Purton has continued to chip away at the leaders and confirmed his status as one of the top five jockeys with the low-key victory.
O'Sullivan and Purton combined to take out the Group One Stewards' Cup (1,600m) with Fellowship last Sunday, and the winning combination was able to strike again, albeit in a lesser race.
'I think this horse really appreciated the cut in the ground,' a mud-soaked Purton said after the win. 'He had a good draw and a soft run, and I was lucky that the gap opened up for me at the right time.
'He was just too strong for them after that and he deserved the victory, Paul has done a good job with him.'
O'Sullivan arrived after the Karaka Sales in New Zealand, which conclude today.
O'Sullivan has already secured a NZ$120,000 (HK$642,000) Pins colt out of Exodus - a half sister to Dante's Paradiso.
Rain Of Thunder beat Luckyme by a neck to claim the Jebsen Motors Handicap (1,800m), with a further 13/4 lengths to Super Bobo, who finished third.
Purton's winner preceded some frustrating results for the rider later in the card when Jamesina was a narrow third to Special Days and Mr Medici in the Group Three Jebsen Centenary Vase (1,800m).
'He just bottomed out with 50 metres to go and his condition gave out,' Purton said. 'We were right there to win the race, but Special Days proved too strong over the last few strides and the other horse nailed us out wide.'
Purton also finished second on Regency Winner in the race won by Prime Champion, but said, while his horse was gallant in defeat, the margin was too great to peg back on the leader.