Purton back on Bridge in rider swap
Zac Purton will be back on board Little Bridge in Sunday's HK$4.5 million Group One Chairman's Sprint Trophy (1,200m), with the Australian and French jockey Gerald Mosse doing a switch around of mounts.
Purton has been on board fading star Sacred Kingdom recently and Mosse has ridden the Danny Shum Chap-shing-trained Little Bridge in his last two outings, each for no result.
'I think the owners of Sacred Kingdom wanted to try Gerald again and I'm only too pleased to be back on Little Bridge,' said Purton, who has won six of his 11 rides on Little Bridge. 'I think he has gone up to a new level this season, showing he's as good as any sprinter around and I didn't think I would get back on him so soon, but I am very thankful to the owners and Danny.'
Purton said he worked Little Bridge yesterday in blinkers for the first time and was impressed.
'I'm not sure if Danny plans to use the blinkers on Sunday, but the way he worked in them I'd think they'd be a real positive,' Purton said.
'Last season Little Bridge reached a point in his campaign where he started to hit a bit of a flat spot and, from my reading of it, he has been doing something similar again lately. Maybe the blinkers would help him over that.'
Mosse has ridden Sacred Kingdom six times for four Group wins, including the Hong Kong Sprint in 2007, and two seconds.
He has not been on the gelding since being sacked over a controversial defeat in the Queen's Silver Jubilee Cup by Good Ba Ba four years ago, when Sacred Kingdom was hopelessly pocketed for most of the straight.
By the time he was clear, the race was over and so was Mosse's engagement for him, but time heals all wounds and the sprinter's connections are trying to find the spark to reignite the great horse and turned back to the French ace.
In other news, the Jockey Club will close applications this afternoon for a new local trainer to replace Alex Wong Yu-on, who retired at the end of last season. Applications are only open to current assistant trainers.