Purton looks beyond Bubbles and Prawn to Spirit

Zac Purton was the man of the moment at Sha Tin’s barrier trial session on Tuesday morning, partnering G1-winning sprinter Lucky Bubbles and unbeaten three-year-old Hot King Prawn in separate heats on dirt.

However, his immediate focus is on Wednesday night, when he partners Chung Wah Spirit (133lb) in the Class 3 Residents’ Service Handicap (1650m).

Chung Wah Spirit travelled like the winner last start at Sha Tin, only to be run over late by Diamond King. He now makes his Happy Valley debut and steps beyond 1400m for the first time.

“He is up in the ratings now and he is finding it a little bit harder,” Purton said. “I think going to the Valley is a softer option. He’s racing well, he’s probably racing the best he has in Hong Kong, so I expect him to run well. I think the shorter straight will suit him and should take care of the query over him at 1650m. He’s definitely a chance.”

The Residents’ Services Handicap comes up at 9.45pm, with the opener, the Class 5 Tour And Hotel Service Handicap (1000m), set to begin the card at 7.15pm.

Hot King Prawn and Zac Purton winning down the Sha Tin straight, picture Hong Kong Jockey Club