Purton's landmark day spoiled after he cops two-day suspension
Zac Purton bagged his 100th winner in Hong Kong as part of a treble, but his luck ran out in the stewards room where he was suspended for two meetings on a careless riding charge.
Purton 'raised the bat' on his century of winners aboard the Francis Lui Kin-wai-trained Loads Of Joy, before parlaying his success into wins on Mighty Feeling for David Ferraris and Pizzazz for Paul O'Sullivan.
His final victory aboard Pizzazz caught the eye of stewards, who had him charged with careless riding after causing interference to China Hero.
Purton had his suspension deferred and will miss the first two meetings in May, but he was delighted with his otherwise successful afternoon that almost saw him claim his second Jockey Challenge of the week.
'It's good to make the most of the opportunities when they come along and I was lucky to have everything fall into place,' Purton said. 'Pizzazz's win was quite convincing, and he is a very progressive horse. I would like to see him get in behind horses and learn to take a sit, but he is still new and that will come to him in time.'
Purton has had good success for O'Sullivan and the trainer was quick to sing the jockey's praises after another well-judged ride.
'Zac and I have a good association and he usually rides a winner or two for me every month,' O'Sullivan said. 'Pizzazz is actually raced by the same family who race Fellowship, a horse Zac and I have had a lot of success with at the top level.'
O'Sullivan also agreed with Purton's assessment of Pizzazz and is also confident of more improvement.
'He's a progressive style of horse, because before he came to Hong Kong he hadn't even barrier trialled,' O'Sullivan said. 'He's only had two barrier trials and three races now, so he's made some big steps.
'Pizzazz had to do a little bit in the run today and I think he can get a little bit further in time. He's a raw boned, light athlete and you don't want him to go around too often or he'll lose his condition.'
Trainer Lui was also pleased with the way Purton rated Loads Of Joy, who claimed the Jianguomen Handicap (1,200m) on the all-weather track in impressive fashion. 'I think Load's Of Joy is improving with each start and learning to relax in his races more,' Lui said.
'He will get further in the future ... you can see he still wants to race a bit keenly in the middle sections and just needs to strengthen up a bit.'
That win chalked up the 100th winner for Purton, who has now accumulated 30 winners for the season to sit fifth on the premiership table.
Loads of joy
Hong Kong victories Zac Purton chalked up with the win in race two: 100