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Hoss faces class rise at Happy Valley, Golden Sixty gallops on turf

April 5, 2023 at 3:28:08 AM

Zac Purton’s 11 wins for Jamie Richards this season are unmatched and at Happy Valley this Thursday (6 April) the Australian is firmly in the handler’s corner as he chases a hat-trick of victories aboard Hoss in the Class 3 Primula Handicap (1200m).

Zac Purton’s 11 wins for Jamie Richards this season are unmatched and at Happy Valley this Thursday (6 April) the Australian is firmly in the handler’s corner as he chases a hat-trick of victories aboard Hoss in the Class 3 Primula Handicap (1200m).

Purton rode a double on Sunday afternoon (2 April) at Sha Tin in tandem with Richards and he takes four rides for the trainer at the upcoming fixture, headlined by Hoss, who steps up in grade following a pair of impressive Class 4 wins at the city circuit.

“He just needed those couple of runs to work things out, since he’s gone to the Valley he’s put in some really good efforts and obviously a few wins as well. So, he’s up in grade, down in weight and he’s drawn well (this week),” Purton said.

Hoss has been assigned 119lb and he’ll break from barrier three against 11 others including Beauty Tycoon (135lb), Jumbo Fortune (133lb), Winning Icey (129lb), Beauty Glory (126lb), Super Vince (119lb), Scotch Tycoon (115lb) and more.

“He’s trialling well, the horse is in good form and Jamie’s (Richards) horses are racing well and there’s a lot to like about him,” Purton said.

Hoss has had five starts – with roughly a month break between each outing – in Hong Kong for two wins with his previous three runs serving as a learning curve to the jurisdiction.

“Jamie tends to do that with a few of his horses, he’s not in a hurry with them and does space their runs a little bit – it’s worked previously, so we’re sticking to it,” Purton said.

Purton also gets the leg-up on Tronic Mighty, Ready Player One and Happy United for Richards, who this season has steadily crept up the standings with 23 wins after a deliberately slow start.

Purton claimed a third Group 1 success in Australia since the start of March on Saturday (1 April) in the G1 Doncaster Mile (1600m) at Randwick aboard Mr Brightside for trainers Ben & JD Hayes.

“It was (pleasing), especially with the Hong Kong connection here with David (Hayes). It was good for the boys, they’re training really well, their stable is flying and the horse is obviously very honest,” Purton said.

Purton has three Group 1 wins at Randwick from his last 10 rides at the course.

Adverse weather conditions in Hong Kong this morning (Tuesday, 4 April) prompted trainer Francis Lui to abandon a planned barrier trial on the dirt with champion galloper Golden Sixty, instead opting for a routine grass gallop under Vincent Ho.

“Vincent (Ho) wasn’t happy with the track. We galloped on the grass, we’ll have another barrier trial on probably the 18th (of April),” Lui said.

Golden Sixty will next feature on FWD Champions Day, while his Triple Crown bid in next month’s G1 Standard Chartered Champions & Chater Cup (2400m) remains under careful consideration after victories in the first two legs – the G1 Stewards’ Cup (1600m) and G1 Citi Hong Kong Gold Cup (2000m).

“We’re thinking. I don’t want the horse to work too hard – because every race he tries very hard. I don’t want to squeeze him,” Lui said.

Enjoying a fine season with 30 wins so far, Lyle Hewitson is looking for back-to-back successes aboard King Of The Court in the first section of the Class 4 Kalanchoe Handicap (1650m) for trainer Douglas Whyte on Thursday night.

“He’s been showing throughout his career so far in Hong Kong that he definitely has the ability. He’s thrown together some good runs, disappointed a few in between but he’s obviously enjoyed the step up in trip and being at the Valley,” Hewitson said.

Thursday’s (6 April) nine-race fixture at Happy Valley kicks off at 6.45pm with the Class 5 Flamingo Flower Handicap (2200m).

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