The Group Three Sa Sa Ladies’ Purse (1,800m) is the lead-up event connections dreaming of Hong Kong International Races glory should not want to win.
No amount of Sa Sa-branded beauty products can cover up the Ladies’ Purse’s HKIR imperfections.
That is because no horse has parlayed a Ladies’ Purse success into a Sprint (1,200m), Mile (1,600m), Cup (2,000m) or Vase (2,400m) victory at HKIR.
Time Warp’s 2018 Cup third behind his full brother, Glorious Forever, and Japanese raider Deirdre is the best HKIR result any Ladies’ Purse winner has achieved in the same season.
Glorious Forever wins the brotherly battle with elder sibling Time Warp under Silvestre de Sousa and keeps rolling as Deirdre challenges to land the $HK28m Hong Kong Cup. Victory completes a sensational G1 double for Frankie Lor after Mr Stunning's Sprint success #HKracing #HKIR pic.twitter.com/BqWuXyPafl— HKJC Racing (@HKJC_Racing) December 9, 2018
Since the 2012-13 season, when the Jockey Club moved the Ladies’ Purse from the middle of October to the beginning of November, 54 Ladies’ Purse runners have contested HKIR events a handful of weeks later.
Of those 54 Ladies’ Purse runners, only three won at HKIR – Time Warp (2017 Cup after placing second), Exultant (2018 Vase after placing fourth) and the aforementioned Glorious Forever (2018 Cup after placing second) – and just eight earned either Group One silver or bronze medals at the meeting.
Furthermore, neither of the past two Ladies’ Purse editions has thrown a subsequent Group One champion.
Six of the 2020 Ladies’ Purse starters won races later in their respective careers, with the peak performance coming from Furore, who followed up his Group Three triumph with victory in the Group Two Jockey Club Cup (2,000m) on his next appearance.
Last term, Tourbillon Diamond won the 2021 Ladies’ Purse for the rider-trainer combination of Alexis Badel and Danny Shum Chap-shing, with Ka Ying Star, Reliable Team and Champion’s Way filling the frame.
Of those four gallopers, all except Ka Ying Star – who is set to line up in this season’s renewal – registered subsequent successes, but none above Group Two level – Reliable Team added his name to the honour roll of Jockey Club Cup winners.
All 10 horses declared to run in Sunday’s Ladies’ Purse hold entries for December 11’s HKIR.
Excellent Proposal is in the Mile only. Beauty Joy, Turin Redsun and Money Catcher are in both the Mile and the Cup. Celestial Power is in the Cup only. Ka Ying Star, Savvy Nine and Butterfield are in both the Cup and the Vase. Last but not least, Senor Toba and Columbus County are in the Vase only.
Beauty Joy’s trainer, Tony Cruz, said the outcome of the Ladies’ Purse will determine which HKIR event becomes the target of the two-time Group Three winner, who reunites with Zac Purton on Sunday.
Purton, who is the only Hong Kong-based jockey to have ridden Beauty Joy to victory, takes over from Luke Currie following the six-year-old galloper’s 10th behind the Purton-piloted California Spangle in last month’s Group Two Sha Tin Trophy (1,600m).