The Jockey Challenge again looks a two-jockey race but big stable support means Joao Moreira might just have more horsepower than rival Zac Purton.
An interesting opening market for the Jockey Challenge had Moreira installed $1.72 favourite and Purton second pick at $2, but amazingly the next best-chance was rated $20, that being Sam Clipperton.
The individual race markets reflect the stranglehold Moreira and Purton have on the meeting, with the pair on a series of favourites throughout the day.
Perhaps it is the Magic Man’s association with John Size, and a strong hand in the final three races, that can see him salute as Jockey Challenge winner.
It should remain close throughout the day, but Moreira’s rides on five horses for Size, including two first-starters and the trio of top chances to close out the card, are the key.
Bond Elegance and Infinity Endeavour have been placed in perfect races by Size and both were strong favourites in early markets, while Unicron Jewellery, Beat The Clock and Mr Stunning were all in the top two of betting.
Purton has a few top chances of his own, including Go Beauty Go, which could start odds-on as he chases his first win, while Seasons Bloom will be out to lower the colours of Beat The Clock later.
The battle between the two jockeys could come down to the result of three key races – including the Class Three clash between Beat The Clock and Seasons Bloom, where Purton’s mount seems to get a great race setup from the draw.
Star Of Patch ran well on debut up the straight and if the race pans out well for Purton, he looks the most likely rival to beat Infinity Endeavour.
Then there is the feature race of the day, the Group Three Chinese Club Challenge Cup, where Purton’s ride Joyful Trinity was an early tote favourite ahead of Moreira’s Blizzard.
Blizzard gritted out a typically tough win on international day and now gets 12 pounds off Joyful Trinity, who flashed home for third behind Beauty Only in the Hong Kong Mile on the same day.