They are a perfect three from three when combining on the dirt this season, and jockey Zac Purton and trainer Benno Yung Tin-pang will attempt to inflict more damage with that trio of last-start winners at Sha Tin on Wednesday night.
Yung played a big hand in Purton’s career-best seven winners in a day on October 9, getting the star Australian rolling with a double aboard Yes We Can and Fiery Diamond to open the card before the duo combined to salute with Handsome Twelve later in proceedings.
That was Yung’s first treble since June 2019, and with Purton again jumping aboard all three gallopers at this term’s first all-dirt meeting – as well as Yung’s last-start runner-up Run Des Run – the veteran handler looks well placed to add to his six winners so far this campaign.
Fiery Diamond came from midfield to win by a length and a quarter last time out – his first victory in 10 career runs – but could be closer to the speed from gate one in the Class Four Sha Tsui Handicap (1,200m).
The five-year-old brings the best form into a race also featuring Starry Night, Lucky Ruby and Touch Faith and should be in the finish over a course and distance he has done most of his best work.
Yes We Can was dominant last time out, surging to a four-and-a-half-length victory after settling behind midfield from gate one, and looks poised to have a big say in the Class Four Tai Ho Handicap (1,650m).
The seven-year-old went up nine points in the ratings for that victory as the $2.4 favourite but will only carry five pounds more from gate four.
In something of an anomaly, barrier four has provided only one winner from 61 runners over the all-weather 1,650m since the start of the 2020-21 season, whereas gate five has delivered 15 winners from only one more starter across the same period.
Yes, that's five wins for @zpurton! 🖐️— HKJC Racing (@HKJC_Racing) October 9, 2022
The Australian is in unstoppable mode as Handsome Twelve overhauls Chancheng Prince to also give Benno Yung a treble (in tandem with Purton). 🔥🔥 #HKracing pic.twitter.com/4qbIDsp5pU
After winning once on the Bendigo turf and once on the Ballarat synthetic in Australia pre-import, Handsome Twelve is developing into a genuine dirt specialist in Hong Kong, winning twice and finishing second once from five starts on the surface, while failing to register a victory across six turf outings.
The five-year-old jumps from gate seven in an even Class Three Yeung Uk Handicap (1,650m), with Chancheng Prince likely to be among his main dangers.
Run Des Run must overcome gate 11 in the Class Five Hoi Pa Handicap (1,800m) but has a good recent record on the dirt and shapes to be competitive.
Yung also saddles up Coolceleb (Harry Bentley), Son Pak Fu (Jerry Chau Chun-lok) and Ice Legend (Matthew Poon Ming-fai).
Purton’s full book of nine rides also includes multiple mounts for reigning champion trainer Frankie Lor Fu-chuen in Kings Shield and Youthful Deal, as well as newcomer Jamie Richards, for whom he partners Call Me Lu and Asian One.