• Wed
  • Oct 22, 2014
  • Updated: 4:51am
SportRacing

Purton can produce a Triple Trio Smile on his return

Jockeys' Championship leader returns from suspension and can continue his winning run on a promising Paul O'Sullivan galloper in the final leg

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 06 February, 2014, 9:28pm
UPDATED : Thursday, 06 February, 2014, 9:34pm
 

A re-energised Zac Purton returns from a two-meeting suspension on Saturday and should salute in the final leg of the Sha Tin Triple Trio on the Paul O'Sullivan-trained Celestial Smile.

Celestial Smile has given the indication he needs further at each of his three runs so far, and he again progresses up in trip to what looks like an ideal 1,600m.

After running on for third over 1,000m, 1,200m and 1,400m - that last effort beaten just a head - the four-year-old Private Purchase Griffin makes the logical step up to a mile and this time he draws a gate.

It was only barrier 11 that beat Celestial Smile last time out, Purton forced to take a hold and race at the rear in a race where leader Mighty Equus dictated terms. Celestial Smile came from six lengths off the winner at the top of the straight, and got home in easily the quickest last sectional of 22.91 seconds for the final 400m. The hold-up tactics also seemed to work against the gelding's natural game, as he had been ridden handy in his previous starts - even in a hard-run straight race over 1,000m.

This time from gate four he will be well positioned and allowed to play his natural game a touch closer in a race with a couple of obvious speed influences.

Hey Cheers (Douglas Whyte) has to get across from barrier 11, and the 1,600m start allows time for those drawn wide to work across steadily, while Dicky Lui Cheuk-yin should push along on Thanksgiving, who drops into gate one after drawing 10, 11 and 14 at his last three starts. Include both on-pace hopes on the "C + 3" course, and also look at Forever Ahead (Olivier Doleuze) and perhaps Fun Heroes (Brett Prebble) from a good draw.

The first leg is a 1,400m Class Four, where Purton again gets a well-drawn four-year-old ready to break his maiden: Numero Uno for Benno Yung Tin-pang. Numero Uno was a nose second to Mighty Equus, beating home Celestial Smile, and also raced a touch keen behind the slow tempo.

He has been given a quiet time in trackwork, but looks where he needs to be to beat a moderate field. Include Ah Bo (Whyte), who trialled well since his last start sixth and steps up to a more suitable 1,400m. Next comes Medic Kingdom (Karis Teetan), placed in five of six this term and drawn five, Verdane (Joao Moreira) and Fortune Territory (Mirco Demuro).

In the final leg, Silly Buddies (Tye Angland) should finally win his way out of Class Three. He raced greenly last time and threw it away, but at start five expect progression from the John Size-trained four-year-old.

Others to consider are Dynamic Voyage (Teetan), Dining Star (Moreira) and first-starter My Legend (Purton).

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