Champion jockey Zac Purton will ride one-time internet sensation and two-time Group One winner Pakistan Star.
In a deal brokered during the week, Purton will take the reins on the enigmatic six-year-old in the upcoming Group Two Premier Bowl (1,200m) at Sha Tin on October 20.
The Australian will then assess his options after the race, with an eye towards December’s Group One Longines Hong Kong Sprint (1,200m).
It will be the 122-rated superstar’s first start over 1,200m since his world famous last-to-first debut run in 2016 where he rattled home from a seemingly impossible position.
Purton will become Pakistan Star’s seventh race jockey and second since Paul O’Sullivan took over the training duties halfway through last season, unseating Matthew Chadwick.
O’Sullivan said he was excited at the prospect of putting Pakistan Star over the sprint trip after his former trainer Tony Cruz elected to run him over staying trips.
“We will just see how he goes, it is something he has never tried and on paper when you look at his record it is probably not the smartest thing to do but when I trial him over 1,200m he trials like a rocket. I know it is on the dirt but it is impressive,” he said.
“If they ran the international races on the dirt he would win. The three runs I have given him, he’s looked the winner at the 300m every time, he just hasn’t gone through with it, he’s cantered up.
“I thought we would give it a try and see how we go, we can switch him to a mile very easily.”
Fellow Australian Blake Shinn will ride John Size’s returning Group One sprinter Ivictory in the race after riding Pakistan Star in his first trial this season.
Shinn told O’Sullivan of his decision on Thursday morning, opening the door for Purton to ride.
Ivictory and last week’s Group Three winner Full Of Beauty shape to be the only Size-trained horses in the race.
Jockey Joao Moreira had previously indicated to the Post he was likely to ride Full Of Beauty in the race.
“It’s very hard to say right now, what I can say is people shouldn’t be surprised if I do stick with him because he did win,” he said.
“I will be looking at the options, what John Size has in the race, he probably has some of the best sprinters and we will see which ones will be ready to race in the up and coming race.”