A white-hot run of form for Zac Purton came to a halt in the stewards’ room after the final race on Sunday but the Australian jockey will be back to keep his ride on Beauty Generation in the Classic Mile on January 22.
Purton has been in sensational form, with Mr Potential, Ashkiyr and Beauty Generation taking his tally to 10 wins from his 26 rides over the past eight days, and his head-to-head contests with Joao Moreira have been a highlight.
Purton came out on top narrowly in the Jockey Challenge on Sunday but stewards later put the brakes on his streak and he will miss next Saturday and the following Wednesday over interference caused as he secured a position at the first turn for his final winner.
While the Dennis Yip Chor-hong-trained Mr Potential has been a winner in search of the right circumstances for much of the season, Ashkiyr entitles Purton to a place among the greats just for getting the reluctant eight-year-old home first.
“Ashkiyr’s record shows that he is not easy to win on but his three wins now have all been 1,800m here and it all fell into place for him today,” Purton said. “In saying that, it was a pretty ordinary Class Four race too. He’s got the win but I don’t think he’s racing as well as he was a year or two ago.”
Purton’s ride had everything to do with Mr Potential’s breakthrough win, as the gelding had consistent struck trouble or difficult trips in his other starts but he said the horse helped himself out too.
“He’s often a bit keen but he today he relaxed really well and that made the difference,” he explained. “His last couple were really, good, he was in a race with no speed and in the right spot.”
Moreira replied with his own treble – Amazing Kids, Big Bang Bong and Roundabout – but Purton landed four minor placings to the Brazilian’s three.