Fortune to favour Zac Purton, David Hall with promising sprinter Craig
The David Hall-Zac Purton combination got off to a terrible start but the jockey and trainer have a much better recent record together and that should continue at Happy Valley tonight with Craig's Fortune in the Hong Kong Golf Club Centenary Cup (1,200m).
It has been noted that Purton has had three mounts for Hall this season for two winners and we can take it further back to four wins from their last 14 runners together.
But statistics have a wonderful flexibility at times and take it any further back than that and Purton's record for Hall over seven years was - donut. Nothing from 47 rides.
Even those 14 rides for four wins goes back all the way to July, 2014, because the reality is that Purton doesn't ride much at all for Hall, good, bad or indifferent mounts.
But in Craig's Fortune here is the firepower and the right draw in the right race to improve on that record.
The lightly raced Coat's Choice five-year-old had Purton up when he sat just behind the speed and won comfortably as hot favourite at this course a month ago, just his fourth race run and the second under Hall. The trainer said that day that the biggest issue with Craig's Fortune was his fragile state and the need to "cuddle" him to get him to the races and Hall has given the gelding a good space between runs and been rewarded with a suitable race and a suitable map.
Another son of Coat's Choice, Planet Choice (Gerald Mosse) has recently moved yards to Manfred Man Ka-leung but he should still be expected to take a forward position with Star Of Wai Bo and that looks the speed in a race that should be decided on the front end, especially with the C+3 rail in play.
Purton should be poised just behind them into the straight and so should his lightweight danger All Times Lucky (Alvin Ng Ka-chun) who has a draw for a change over a suitable distance.