Zac Purton hopes a trackwork incident which saw him thrown from Jimmy Ting Koon-ho’s Amazing Star has not taken the wind out of the improving sprinter’s sails.
The champion jockey aims for four consecutive wins on the five-year-old on Wednesday night in the Class One Blue Pool Handicap (1,200m) in what is his fourth class rise in as many starts.
With a clean bill of health, Ting has transformed Amazing Star this season, improving his rating from 58 to 94 in three starts.
Such has been his dominance, his three wins have had a combined winning margin of almost 12 lengths.
Purton got more than he bargained for after a strong piece of work last week, however, when Amazing Star took fright of another horse in front of him.
“Another horse ducked out in front of him and swished its tail, he thought he was going to get murdered so he flipped out,” Purton said. “He doesn’t like other horses around him which is why he likes to lead.
“It wasn’t ideal because I had done a strong piece of work on him down the back on the grass and I was trotting back when it happened.
“He then galloped another lap so I hope it hasn’t taken too much out of him.”
Racing against seasoned sprinters in Fat Turtle, Country Star, Speedy King, Gunnison, Tornado Twist and Gentle Breeze, Amazing Star faces his stiffest task yet.
Racing in Class One against highly rated opponents means Amazing Star will carry the same weight as he did four weeks ago in Class Two, although he will meet the likes of Waldorf nine pounds worse off thanks to his 10-point ratings bump.
“It is a much tougher race this time, he has a little bit more weight on his back [against the same rivals], there is more speed in the race so he is going to need to be at his best,” Purton said.
“He has done nothing wrong this season, he has really matured quite nicely and showed us what he’s made of, there isn’t much more he can do.”
Having drawn barrier eight, Amazing Star is likely to lead after he managed to do it from gate 12 last start.
Despite being in the Hong Kong system for three seasons, Amazing Star has had just 11 starts after suffering a string of set backs early in his career.
Originally trained by Chris So Wai-yin, the then three-year-old managed one win in his first six starts before being transferred to Ting’s stable during what was his first season as a trainer.
After suffering a bone injury which resulted in lameness in his other legs, Amazing Star had just two starts last season and failed to fire a shot.
Wednesday night’s meeting will be the last for French jockey Tony Piccone, who has six rides on the night.
Piccone has enjoyed strong support during his brief time in Hong Kong, booting home seven winners from just 85 starts.