Japan tops Zac Purton’s summer plans
Hong Kong’s soon-to-be six-time champion jockey is making arrangements to ride a summer spell in Japan for the first time in eight years.
Zac Purton is planning to ride a short stint on the JRA circuit for the first time since August 2015 as he aims to re-establish connections with the all-conquering Japanese bloc.
The Australian ace ended months of speculation about his future when he announced on Sunday that he would remain in Hong Kong next season, but before that campaign kicks off in September, he wants to re-engage with the Japanese scene.
“The plan is to ride in Japan for a couple of weeks this summer,” Hong Kong’s five-time champion jockey told Asian Racing Report. “I’ve had a lot of success in Japan and I’ve always enjoyed my time there.”
Purton’s record in Japan stands at 19 wins from 107 rides going back to June 2010 when he rode the Yasuda Kinen fixture at Tokyo. In November 2012 he won the World Super Jockeys Series, and in 2014 he enjoyed the first of two short summer stints.
He was a regular visitor the following year: in March 2015 he famously partnered Aerovelocity to win the G1 Takamatsunomiya Kinen; then came a seven-win summer, followed by a one-day-one-win visit that December, tied to Hong Kong runner Gun Pit’s unsuccessful assault on the G1 Champions Cup.
But Purton’s only visit to Japan since then was a fly-in-fly-out to ride Beauty Only in the 2017 G1 Yasuda Kinen.