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Posted 2023-07-10 19:15:36  
Purton Breaks Moreira Record

Zac Purton will continue his pursuit of Douglas Whyte’s towering Hong Kong career record for the most wins by a jockey after surpassing Joao Moreira’s mark for the most victories in a single season at Sha Tin on Sunday (9 July).


Further cementing his status among Hong Kong horseracing’s galaxy of stars, Purton eclipsed Moreira’s 2016/17 record of 170 wins from 710 rides with a quartet.


Purton drew level on 170 with his 689th ride with success on David Hall-trained Ka Ying Victory and then secured the outright record with his 171st win at his 693rd ride with Manfred Man-trained Magic Supreme’s victory in the Class 4 Arculli Trophy Handicap (1200m).


Purton crowned a landmark meeting in style by adding two more wins, striking with Hall’s Flying Mojito in the Class 4 Chow Silver Plate Handicap (1600m) and John Size’s Helios Express in the Class 3 Philip Chen Trophy Handicap (1200m) to boost his tally to 173.


Revealing he had ignored advice from a doctor regarding a foot issue at the start of the season, Purton finished the meeting with a total of 1,604 wins – a tally bettered only by 13-time champion jockey Whyte’s 1,813.


At 40, Purton plans to continue his Hong Kong career indefinitely, fitness permitting.


“My body will tell me how far I can go. Obviously, I will come back next season and strive to ride as many winners as I can and as long as I continue to get the support, then obviously my position will remain here for as long as that takes,” he said.


“If we have another good season next season, I won’t be too far off that (Whyte mark.) It’s a little bit realistic (to break Whyte’s record) but at the end of the day, I’m getting a little bit older. It’s not as easy to get out of bed every day and I have listen to what my body tells me.”


Paying tribute to the owners, trainers and stable staff, Purton said: “It feels very satisfying. It’s been a long season. At the start of the season, I got told by a specialist I needed to put my foot in a moon boot for three months and I wasn’t allowed to put any weight on it – here I am, I didn’t follow that advice, obviously.


“I’ve worked hard and it hasn’t been smooth sailing all of the way. I sort of lost my focus through the mid-stage of the season with plenty of things that were going on. Once I cleared the fog and got my mind back onto the job, I was behind in the run chase there, I needed something to happen and fortunately for me, the ball started bouncing my way and it’s just continued to roll since.


“I appreciate all the support I get. The Club giving me the opportunity to come here, the owners and trainers who support me and also the people behind the scene – the mafoos, the track riders who prepare the horses and the people who give me the chance.


“It’s a team effort from everyone. I can stand up here and collect the accolades but I can’t do it without everyone else who plays their part…without their patience and support, I wouldn’t have been able to get to these numbers.”


In an incredible display of sustained dominance, Purton’s colossal season reached a peak with a seven-timer at Sha Tin on 9 October and has also included two quintets, eight four-timers and 18 trebles. 

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