By Dick Tse
In-form jockey Zac Purton will reunite with the Dennis Yip-trained Brilliant Shine in the 1400m Kwangtung Handicap Cup, Sunday’s (11 September) Class 1 feature at Sha Tin, which has attracted a field of 12 top-class runners.
Purton leads the jockeys’ table with four wins at this early stage of the season after landing a treble last Wednesday, and he hopes Brilliant Shine will bring him his first Class 1 victory of the campaign. The six-year-old Guillotine gelding has amassed six wins so far in Hong Kong and Purton was in the plate for the first four – all at this course and distance – but was absent through all five of Brilliant Shine’s starts last season.
“I rode him in his early days in Hong Kong and we had a lot of success together, bringing me plenty of good memories,” Purton recalled. “It’s great to have the chance to ride him in a race again this Sunday.”
Purton noted that the New Zealand import is a much more relaxed horse nowadays and he reckoned that to be a good sign. “Before, he normally worked quite strongly in the morning, but yesterday when I rode him in trackwork I found that he became more relaxed,” he said. “Sometimes horses do change their character a little bit, and hopefully it will bring him good. Overall, I’m pleased with his work.”
Brilliant Shine completed an 800m work yesterday morning under Purton in 55.2 seconds (29.7s and 25.5s).
“This will be a tough race anyway but I believe my horse will run a very good race this time,” added the Australian ace, who won the Kwangtung Handicap Cup aboard Mr Ginger in 2012.
On Sunday, Lean Journey will be Purton’s first ride for Dennis Yip since March. Jockey and trainer have enjoyed success together in the past and Purton has trialled several of Yip’s horses since returning from the summer break.
Joyful Trinity is the likely race favourite in the Kwangtung Handicap Cup. John Moore’s charge won a brace of Class 2 races and finished a creditable second behind his potentially top-class stablemate Helene Paragon in the Class 1 Sha Tin Mile Trophy last season. Moore is pleased with the Zanzibari four-year-old’s progress ahead of Sunday’s race.
“His trial last week was good and though he is still not one hundred per cent fit, he will benefit from this run,” Moore said. “I am happy with his track work performance so far. Considering the amount of work, and with Joao (Moreira) on board, no doubt he will be the favourite.
“Depending how he performs on Sunday, most probably he will run again next month, and hopefully he can be selected in the Hong Kong International Races this December,” added Moore, who has won the Kwangtung Handicap Cup five times since 2000.
The classy field also features Horse Of Fortune, Helene Super Star , Romantic Touch , Born In China, All You Wish , Jun Huo , Packing Lllaregyb , Sergeant Titanium , I’m In Charge , and Twin Delight .
Sunday’s 10-race card commences at 1pm with the Chaozhou Handicap. The Kwangtung Handicap Cup (5.15pm) is race nine. The Chinese Recreation Club Challenge Cup (3.45pm), another cup race on the card, is race six.
Brilliant Shine wins first-up in the 2014/15 season with Zac Purton on board.
Joyful Trinity lands his second Hong Kong win in the Racing Club Handicap last term with Joao Moreira in the saddle.