THE final Hong Kong meeting of 2016 runs at Sha Tin on Tuesday and it’s being headlined by social media sensation Pakistan Star.
The talented and popular runner will race in the Griffin Trophy, which has had a reputation of being a good horses race after the Australian-bred Luger won in 2013 before later winning the Hong Kong Derby.
The Tony Cruz-trained Pakistan Star has less than three months to prepare for the BMW Hong Kong Derby and only four weeks until the Hong Kong Classic Mile on January 22.
Its popularity has taken a hit after three consecutive defeats, but champion jockey Joao Moreira will ride and it looks a strong winning chance if the pace is on up front.
Australian jockey Zac Purton believes his runner Sea Jade can make it three consecutive wins and keep Pakistan Star at bay.
“Well, I hope I can beat him,” Purton said.
“Pakistan Star is not going to be that far away really in this race and with the turn of foot he’s got, he might just blow us all away. But if he doesn’t turn up on the day, then my horse is going to be there.”
“We hope Sea Jade can bring his current form to Sha Tin. He’s definitely a horse that is racing with a bit of confidence at the moment, he seems to be going well.
“It’s obviously not an easy race but he’s in there with a chance. The trip might be a query but I think he should be able to see out the 1400m.
“He’s a bit of a galloper, he’s got a long action and he hasn’t been stopping in his 1200m races at the Valley so he should be able to handle it.”
Purton will also ride Beauty Generation in the Chek Keng Handicap. The John Moore-trained son of Road To Rock raced as Montaigne in Australia where it finished second in the Group 1 Rosehill Guineas and it looks a great chance in the Hong Kong Derby.
“He’s been doing everything right in the mornings,” Purton said. “He works well, he’s been bouncing around, he’s feeling good within himself and his trial was good so we’re looking forward to getting him to the races.
“He’s going to peak on Derby Day so there’s a lot of improvement there left in him, but we’re still expecting him to run a pretty nice race here.
“There’s no pressure, you just go and put them in the right spot. If they are good enough, they win, but if not there’s another race.”