Zac Purton’s hit-and-run mission to Sydney has paid off with the champion jockey landing the Group One Galaxy with talented mare In Her Time at Rosehill on Saturday.
“It’s a long way to come. It’s pretty easy to just stay at home, but I enjoy riding these big races on these big days,” Purton said.
“Obviously you’ve got nice horses and to win a race like this it really makes it worthwhile.”
The Benjamin Smith-trained In Her Time had three previous Group One placings to her name but finally got the breaks to collect the biggest prize of her career.
In Her Time jumps out of the ground with a mighty kick and bolts in home ahead of English & Viridine to salute in impressive fashion in The Galaxy. pic.twitter.com/48o3Hngcxq— Sky Racing (@SkyRacingAU) March 24, 2018
“If she was ever going to win a Group One, she had everything in her favour today,” Purton said.
“The conditions were right, her feet have been good, she’s been trialling well. She was nice and fresh, so it was good to see her go and do what she has done.
“She travelled well and came into it like the winner. A little bit late she got a bit lost but she had the race won.”
It was a quinella for Hong Kong-based jockeys with Sam Clipperton finishing second on the Gai Waterhouse and Adrian Bott-trained English.
“It was a massive run. She missed the start a half length and didn’t handle the going around the 600m,” Clipperton said. “Once she got to the outside she unleashed. It was good to see the old English back in form.”
Purton has his own near miss earlier in the day when Oohood just failed to run down Estijaab in the Group One Golden Slipper.
“It was a great effort. I thought at the 100m when I was coming I was going to get there but the winner kicked a little bit as I was coming and held me at bay,” Purton said.
Quilista and Tommy Berry round the turn in the lead and drive it all the way to the line to take out the TAB Birthday Card Stakes for a @DKWeirRacing treble at @rosehillgardens. pic.twitter.com/5IR8S2uQ05— Sky Racing (@SkyRacingAU) March 24, 2018
Tommy Berry was the other Hong Kong-based jockey to make the trip to Rosehill and he didn’t leave empty-handed, claiming the Group Three Birthday Card Stakes with Quilista.
Purton is hoping to take that good form into Sunday’s meeting, where he is second favourite for the Jockey Challenge. The Australian has a ride in all 10 races, with Elite Boy, Simply Brilliant and Baltic Whisper among his best chances.