Purton takes two, Moore closes in

Reliable Team
Reliable Team forges to victory under Zac Purton.

Zac Purton followed a four-timer at Sha Tin last weekend with a double at Happy Valley (3 July) that began with victory on the promising Reliable Team. Frankie Lor’s three-year-old made it two from two with a three and a half-length success in the Class 4 Sham Chung Handicap (1200m).

“He did a good job, he had a heavy weight (133lb) and the gate (9) wasn’t kind again but he was able to get in a good spot,” the champion jockey said. “The way the race was run through the mid-section was a little bit kinder this time and I was able to sit and wait and cuddle him to the corner.”

The Reliable Man gelding flashed his tail when Purton communicated a desire for better focus close to home and the rider confirmed that the youngster was babyish in the run.

“He still wants to do a little bit wrong,” he said.

Purton received warm praise from John Moore after guiding Smart Rocket to success in the Class 4 Tai Mong Tsai Handicap (1650m). That win took the handler to within two wins of John Size in the battle for the trainer’s premiership.

“Zac’s a genius at the moment; everything is just running for him,” Moore said after collecting his first Happy Valley win since 17 April.

“The gate was the winning factor there, he drew two and he went in last, which meant that he was in and out within 10 or 15 seconds and that was a big plus because he can be a nutcase. Zac said he jumped and got the gun run and then he waited when Witness Hunter went around them on the outside.”