If confidence before the race meant anything, Australian rider Zac Purton did not expect to land either of his long-priced winners yesterday, but the score on the board was all that counted.
After flooring punters with Michael Chang Chun-wai's Magic Chariot at more than 31-1 in the L'Oreal Paris Handicap (1,000m), Purton was back 30 minutes later with an even bigger shock on Watchman at almost 61-1 for Peter Ng Bik-kuen.
'I can't say that either Michael or Peter gave me a huge confidence booster before the race,' said Purton, who was nevertheless happy to add to his win on Elfhelm at Happy Valley last month.
'But Magic Chariot was dropping down in class, which obviously helped him to produce something better than he had been.
'As for Watchman, I got the impression from his form that the 1,400m was going to be a bit short for him but he had a good gate and lovely run through the race. They did run along a little bit up front so the fact that Watchman was coming back from 1,800m last time probably meant he was going to be tougher at the finish than some of them,' he added.
Purton said that adjusting to the lower frequency of wins in Hong Kong was one of the tasks for any new jockey but he was relishing the challenge.
'When I came over, I was thinking I'd have done well if I rode all season for 50 winners,' he said. 'Now that I've seen how hard it is to get on winners, I've cut that number in half and I reckon anything over 25 would be a plus for my first time here.'