Dirt decision delivers for Purton and Yip
Zac Purton was given credit for not only his ride on Dennis Yip Chor-hung's Costa Del Sol, but the decision to take the four-year-old to the dirt for the first time, a move that paid off with a Class Three victory and continued the Aussie's high strike rate when combining with the trainer.
Costa Del Sol had built a respectable record of two from nine, all on the turf, before yesterday, but Purton identified the gelding as a potential dirt tracker, and Yip listened. 'Zac suggested a run on the surface because he thought the way the horse races and his action would suit it,' Yip said. 'I thought, 'there's no harm in trying', but when the entries came out I didn't think he had a chance because it was a good field with a good horse like Wah May Star.'
Wah May Star faded to finish third after having to work to lead from barrier 12 and Costa Del Sol stormed home down the outside under hard riding from Purton to snatch the win.
It was Purton's sixth win in 23 starts for the trainer, in which time he has also had six placings, and was his fifth winner in the four meetings in February.
'This is the first season I have ridden for Dennis and it has been terrific, hopefully it can continue,' said Purton, who was playing down his advisory role.
'I try to give as much to all of the trainers, some listen and some don't, sometimes I'm wrong and sometimes I'm right. This time I was right.
'He's always been a nice worker in the morning on the surface so I thought he was worth having a throw at the stumps on it. But when we came up against such a strong field I was kicking myself. But the race panned out perfectly for us, it was really good speed and he was able to get into his action. He has just got that one action where he just likes to roll, pick up and keep coming. He doesn't like to sit and sprint, and the way the race turned out was just perfect for him.
'He has been knocking on the door and it is good to see him getting him another one.'