That front-running exhibition from Zac Purton in the last at Happy Valley came after the jockey had delivered a master-class of patient jockeyship in the Class 3 Singapore Turf Club Trophy, one of two cup races on the card at the city track on Wednesday night. The Australian ace delivered the David Hall-trained Andoyas (131lb) deep in the home stretch to win the feature by a neck.
Zac Purton drives Andoyas (far-side) to a neck win over Happy Contender in the Singapore Turf Club Trophy, photo HKJC
The contest’s 2200m distance is the maximum at the Valley and Andoyas is fast gaining a reputation as the circuit’s “marathon man”. The six-year-old Lando gelding has notched two wins at the course and distance this term, and, with an 1800m score sandwiched between those verdicts, this evening’s result completed a hat-trick.
“It’s hard to find these sorts of races for him, there aren’t many to run in,” Hall said of the 5.2 favourite. “He gives 100 percent every time he goes out there and he obviously relishes this distance, and also I was never worried about that little bit of cushion in the track tonight after today’s rain, that was always going to be a bonus.
“He’s a good, tough little competitor, and I have to say it was one hell of a ride – a great ride from a very good jockey.”
After anchoring Andoyas second-last, Purton waited until the 600m mark before he began to make a creeping, forward move. Shifted to centre track upon straightening,Andoyas responded to his rider’s strong drive, leading with 60m remaining, all the while holding the attempted last-to-first surge of runner-up Happy Contender (123lb). The margin was a neck, the winning time 2m 17.12s – a shade inside standard.
“We had a lovely run,” Purton said “I was just biding my time, letting everyone else make their moves; just fiddled my way through the field and I was always confident I was going to get there, and I always felt I was holding the second horse.
“One of the problems for some of these horses here in Hong Kong is that races just aren’t long enough for them, but fortunately this season the programme has been there to allow him to run in a couple of these races when he’s been in form and he’s been able to do a good job.”