O'Sullivan finally returns to winning ways thanks to Purton's brilliance
Zac Purton double has elevated the Aussie to a top five place on the premiership ladder and helped out-of-luck trainer Paul O'Sullivan to double his season tally care of promising Finezza.
Purton earlier won on Pegasus Supreme for trainer Francis Lui Kin-wai, before he reeled in the runaway leaders to lift Finezza to a neck victory over Dreams Maker, with Benefactor two lengths further back in third.
It was a rough result which blew out every Triple Trio ticket and ensured a jackpot of under HK$8.8 million will carry over to next week, but Purton was more than happy to take the major share of the prize money and give O'Sullivan his second win of the term.
'It was good to win again for Paul, he's had a lean time recently, but has been a fantastic trainer for a long time and I'm 100 per cent confident in his ability,' Purton said. 'Finezza still did a lot wrong, but he hasn't had a chance to get inside horses yet because he's drawn wide gates each time,' Purton said.
'He hasn't learned to settle in behind horses and it still hasn't fully clicked into place for him just yet, but he showed his ability today and I've got no doubt he'll continue to improve over more ground.'
O'Sullivan has endured a horror start and won only one race before Christmas, but the top New Zealand trainer is hopeful he has pin-pointed the cause of his dramatic dip in form - though he says he wants to confirm his theory before he goes off early.
'I do have a theory as to why things might have changed in the stable, but I'm keeping it under my hat for now until I can nail it on the head for sure,' O'Sullivan said. 'Hopefully this win signals the start of a better run of results, I've just been keeping my head up, doing as I have always done and tried to train winners.
'Finezza has had to overcome wide draws at all his starts, and I think he's only going to improve with more racing and distance. He'll step up to a mile next time and even 1,800 metres should suit him later on.'
Purton's good day at the office started with Pegasus Supreme, who showed good improvement wearing blinkers for the first time to record a 1?length win over Top Dragon.
'That was Pegasus Supreme's race today, he was on the right surface, at the right distance and had the blinkers on, and if he hadn't won today I'd have had serious doubts about him,' Purton said. 'In saying that, it was good to see him deliver on his promise and win well today.
'It wasn't all smooth sailing however, because on the way to the stalls the lead pony kicked out at him and it opened a nice big gash on his chest.'