Masterful Purton takes Challenge in massive upset
A treble for Zac Purton caused a massive boilover in Jockey Challenge betting as wins on Pizzazz, Quantum Power and Wadasurprise lifted the talented Australian to equal fourth position on the premiership table after yesterday's meeting.
Purton put on a masterful display of timing to win all three of his races by a combined margin of less than a length, expertly balancing both Quantum Power and Pizzazz before bringing them with well-timed efforts to nail victory.
The Paul O'Sullivan-trained Pizzazz produced one of the upsets of the day at odds of $21, only surpassed by Purton's $22 opening quote in the Jockey Challenge as the longshot of the day.
'Pizzazz was lucky enough to get a trailing position one-off the rail, Zac produced a sterling ride,' O'Sullivan said. 'Zac said he was half on the wrong leg in the straight, but, once he balanced up, he just went whoosh.
'He did it a bit tough after he was gelded, and that's why he was wanting to charge in his races, but he has settled down now and the tempo suited him beautifully.'
Pizzazz claimed his third win by a short head over Plentiful, taking O'Sullivan into double figures in what has been a tough slog for the trainer this season.
'I always thought Pizzazz was a Class Two horse and he's finally got there,' Purton said. 'There was a couple of worrying moments with him earlier in his career, but he's turned it around now, the race panned out well for us, there was good speed on and he's hit the line well.'
Earlier Purton kept his cool to balance up the heavily supported Quantum Power after a chequered run in the straight, eventually lifting the young horse into top gear and claiming the Chow Tai Fook Perfect Pearl Collection Handicap by a neck.
'Quantum Power is not a straight forward racehorse yet, I had a really good run throughout, but when I went to make my sprint in the straight we found ourselves in restricted room and he was reluctant to go,' Purton said.
'We had to wait for Jacky Tong's horse Scent Of Osmanthus to go by, but, once he went and my horse saw daylight, he knuckled down and really chased hard. It's still a learning process for him, but he got the win and you derive a bit of confidence out of tough victories like that.'
Those two wins added to an earlier major on the Gary Ng Ting-keung-trained Wadasurprise, who rattled home to claim the opening leg of the Triple Trio.
'Early in the day the fence was red hot, and drawing a good gate was a huge advantage,' Purton said. 'We followed the fence, took the shortest route home and even though we got a lovely trail into it, he was just too good. The way he hit the line he'll be winning again.'
On a roll
Talented Zac Purton's well-timed three wins lift him to this position in the jockeys' standings: 4