Moreira and Purton continue championship battle at Sha Tin

Top riders hunting Hong Kong jockeys’ title.

  • Saturday 18 April
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Joao Moreira and Zac Purton continue their tussle for the title of Hong Kong’s top jockey at Sha Tin on Sunday.

Both riders have won three championships each in the last six years, with Purton triumphing in the 2013-14 season and last two campaigns, while Moreira was champion between 2014 and 2017.

Moreira has 101 winners in the bag this term, with Purton just one behind on the century mark after hitting a treble at Happy Valley on Wednesday.

Purton has eight rides at Sha Tin, including the Ricky Yiu-trained Mighty Giant, who is seeking a hat-trick in the Dorset Handicap over seven furlongs.

“He’s a lovely horse, he’s got a big long action and he loves to gallop along – there’s a lot to like about him,” Purton said.

The New Zealand-bred gelding will be having just his seventh career start and has only been out of the places once.

“He’s done nothing wrong – he’s continued to improve as he’s gone along,” Purton said.

“He’s been winning nicely and he’s a good, honest horse who gives everything and I’m sure he’ll do that again.”

Moreira’s mount Juneau Park is Mighty Giant’s main rival in Purton’s view, having won his last two starts as well.

Purton said: “At the weights, Juneau Park is going to get his chance – my bloke likes to roll along so he’s going to have his chance to sit on my back to try to run me down.

“I think Juneau Park looks one-paced so it’s going to suit him as well.”

Juneau Park will carry 13lb less than Mighty Giant and Moreira is hoping he can make the most of his lighter burden.

“He’s up to class three (races) now, but with the lighter weight he’s probably going to appreciate that and we’re going to find out if he really is going as well as we think he is,” Moreira said.

“He’s a horse that has a lot of potential, he’s still improving and in my opinion he’s far from where he’s going to get to in the ratings – we might see the best of him when he starts stepping out over further.”

Moreira has a full card of 10 rides at Sha Tin, with last-time-out scorers Defining Moment and Fantasy among his mounts.

Moreira and Purton continue championship battle at Sha Tin
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