Not Quite Perfect, but Purton not complaining
It was quite a while in coming but Australian jockey Zac Purton finally got his reward out of some advice regarding eight-year-old Not Quite Perfect.
Having his first run on the dirt in a career of 52 previous starts, Not Quite Perfect sailed around like he should have been tried on the surface long ago to claim the first leg of a double for trainer Almond Lee (pictured).
Purton had been aboard the horse three times in May, 2009, when the gelding hadn't won for a year and the jockey advised Lee after the first two of those races Not Quite Perfect would probably benefit from a set of blinkers being applied.
'I said he wanted blinkers, rode him once with them on and he ran third and that was the last time I saw him,' Purton said following yesterday's win.
'Then Almond put his apprentice on the horse and he won three of his next four starts in the blinkers.'
Better late than never, but Lee threw punters with the 26-1 shot, but switching him back to a more suitable distance than the mile events he had been contesting lately but changing surfaces. 'I guess it was an experiment trying the dirt for the first time with a horse his age but he's always had good Happy Valley form and that often translates to the all-weather,' Purton said.
'The race panned out brilliantly.
'I had cover but I was able to roll forward and make my move as I wanted. It couldn't have been better.'
Purton's season just keeps ticking over, with Not Quite Perfect taking him to 40 wins, while Lee will have welcomed a winning double in what has not been a vintage year.
He won with Young Hero (Eddy Lai Wai-ming) later in the card to lift his tally to 18 for the term, and gave himself the distinction of scoring with a pair of eight-year-olds on a card largely dominated by much younger animals.