Purton sheds bridesmaid's tag with gem of a ride
The dominant debut win of Jade Christy not only delivered Ricky Yiu Poon-fai the first half of a training double, it broke a frustrating run of seconds for jockey Zac Purton.
Purton must have been wondering where his next winner would come from after not hitting the line first since October 9 and consistently 'finding one better' ever since.
Since riding Humongus to victory last month, Purton had finished runner-up an astonishing 12 times, including in the opening two events yesterday.
Jade Christy had put the writing on the wall with an impressive barrier trial up the Sha Tin straight early last month and followed that with a accomplished Class Four performance over the same course yesterday.
Purton stalked the leaders on the four-year-old son of Danehill Dancer and put rivals away with a sustained burst of speed from the 400m mark to score by 1 1/2 lengths.
'He has shown a bit in the mornings and his last trial was quite nice,' Purton said. He is still very raw and not the finished product yet.'
The Australian paid tribute to Yiu's patience in bringing the gelding along slowly. Yiu purchased Jade Christy for A$210,000 (HK$1.69 million) at the 2009 Magic Millions Sale and left the horse in Australia to develop in his own time.
'Ricky is good like that, if horses need a bit of time,' Purton said. 'Obviously he can afford to be a bit patient like that because he has a big stable. 'This horse hasn't been there mentally or physically. He was very big a raw and just need a bit of time to develop. He is still not there yet, but was at a stage where he was ready to go to the races. You'll see from now through to the end of the season, he will continue to improve.'
Yiu closed the programme with an all-weather track win to light-weight hope King Of Reason, taking him to nine wins for the season.
Alex Lai Hoi-wing thrust forward from gate five on the four-year-old and raced handy, where winners needed to be on the dirt course yesterday. After bouncing in front, Lai settled into the box seat and was able to pull away with 111 pounds on his back for a 1 1/4 lengths win.