Trainer Danny Shum and jockey Zac Purton were understandably delighted when Perfect Match returned a winner, for the fourth time, after a short break at Sha Tin on Monday even if both conceded the opposition was not exceptionally strong.
“This wasn’t that strong a race but my horse drew wide, he was coming off a two months break and he won very well. I think there’s more improvement to come with him. He’s only a three-year-old and I hope he can be even better next season,” Shum said.
Purton saw it similarly: “Danny’s done a good job with him. He’s pushed him at the right time and backed off him at the right time. He’s given him his chance again today at the right time.
“Sometimes the handicapper can catch up with them quite quickly. Being a griffin he has had a busy enough season but he was impressive today. He hit a flat spot just prior to straightening but once he balanced up, he really let go nicely. I don’t think there was much depth to the race but he did it in very good fashion.”
Zac Purton brings up a treble on the Danny Shum-trained Perfect Match, picture Hong Kong Jockey Club
Patience rewarded for Caspar Fownes
Injury troubled galloper Royal Performer, racing for just the second time since July last year, rewarded his trainer Caspar Fownes and owner Purviz Shroff for their patience when a strong winner of the Class 3 Spoonbill Handicap (1650m - All Weather) under Zac Purton who completed a double.
“I’ve had a lot of problems with him,” Fownes said. “so it’s been a great result to get that win there. It’s taken me a long time to get him fit. He’s a horse with a lot of ability but he hasn’t raced that much. He’s had a lot issues but we’ve got through them and hopefully now, if we can just keep him sound and going forward he’ll be a nice horse.
“He’ll be able to win in Class 2 on this surface. He’s going to be a lot fitter now as well. He was just getting there for this race. You know this race was going to strip him really fit. So, I’m very happy with that result. He had a lovely run through, Zac (Purton) got him in a great position. He travelled up nice and when he pushed the button, he did his job.
“He had a couple of trials just to try to get him there today. It’s hard, you’ve got to balance things with horse with issues. Most importantly we got the result for a lovely owner.”
Racing continues at Happy Valley, on Wednesday night, with the first race at 7.15 pm.