INDEPENDENT HORSE RACING NEWS

Stewards’ Cup: Purton keen to let tactical battle unfold in rearview mirror

Zac Purton joins Asian Racing Report's Michael Cox to discuss Sunday's epic Stewards' Cup clash between California Spangle, Golden Sixty and Romantic Warrior, as well as the prospects of his Classic Mile mount Packing Treadmill.

Tactics always come to the fore in a Group 1 mile race at Sha Tin, and there are few better at masterminding a plan and then executing under pressure than five-time champion jockey Zac Purton.  

On Sunday Purton finds himself in the hot seat again on California Spangle, a last start winner of the Hong Kong Mile who now takes his place in one of the most eagerly awaited clashes in Hong Kong racing history. 

The Stewards’ Cup showdown over the Sha Tin 1600m between California Spangle, Golden Sixty and Romantic Warrior is a legacy-defining race at a distance at which all horses will get a chance to show their best. 

Purton is likely to find himself in front on California Spangle and has a chance to dictate tactics from there, but two superstar horses – and their riders – will have him in their sights. 

“They are not going to give me much of a start, they are going to be on my hammer,” Purton said in an interview with Asian Racing Report. 

What Purton is hoping, however, is that Karis Teetan on Romantic Warrior and Vincent Ho on Golden Sixty, get preoccupied with each other in the early stages. 

“It will be a bit of a tactical battle between Vincent and Karis, because Karis will be coming across and possibly put Vincent to the fence, and Vincent will be looking to stay one off and keep his horse out of trouble, as he likes to do,” Purton said. “So they are going to have their own battle within that first 200-300 metres and I will be just doing my own thing. 

“So hopefully they will just be laying all over each other, and taking the gas out of each other.” 

The Australian rider also speaks about his ride in the Hong Kong Classic Mile, Packing Treadmill, and the balancing act he needs to find when seeking a Hong Kong Derby ride. 

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