Zac v Joao: The Countdown
With six meetings remaining Zac Purton leads by two over Joao Moreira in the Hong Kong jockeys premiership. Both have a full book of eight rides at Happy Valley on Tuesday night. Michael Cox breaks down their chances, looks at the key head-to-head match-up and makes a call as to which jockey has the edge.
HAPPY VALLEY, ‘C’ course, Tuesday, June 28, eight races
Zac Purton: 129 wins
Joao Moreira: 127 wins
THE KEY MATCH-UP: Race 1 (19:15 local, 21:15 AEST)
Zac Purton: Smart Cousin
Joao Moreira: Great Times
Choosing two horses that are a combined one win from 35 starts as a key match-up might seem strange, but it is the limitations of the jockeys’ mounts – and what looms as a compelling battle of tactics – that will make the Class 5 opener a great watch.
Hong Kong’s Class 5 is like the race near the end of the junior athletic carnival for all of the kids that haven’t won or placed in anything yet. Yet Hong Kong’s worst horses can bring out the best in its star jockeys, particularly over this course at the Valley.
The high probability of mid-race moves over the 1800m trip – and the fact Purton and Moreira will be watching each other like hawks on similarly rated chances – make for must-watch television. Both riders are on horses with good enough form to win, but also in need of a great ride to do it.
A win here for either jockey could set the tone for the rest of the evening.