Graham Cunningham previews the meeting that will take place in Happy Valley on Wednesday in The Hong Kong File

horse ridding
horse ridding

While Purton takes a sleep, Keefy is making headway in the Classic race.

Keefy is given the shade by Beautyverse at Sha Tin
In the thick of things in Sha Tin with Keefy
There is not a scarcity of noteworthy news lines. At Sha Tin on Sunday, the consistently-improving Keefy won the Chevalier Cup under the guidance of Derek Leung, punching his ticket for the 2023 Classic Series.

Hugh Bowman provided the early portion of his winter tenure new energy with a double, while runaway debut scorer Superb Capitalist came back to earth with a bump when floored at 1.2 under Angus Chung. Bowman’s double gave the early phase of his winter stint added impetus.

The 10lb claimer will have a tough time keeping the ride after he asked one of Hong Kong’s up-and-coming youngsters to set severe fractions, and the man who is likely to end up in pole position to replace him continued his dominance of the current season by winning half of the card. The 10lb claimer will need to do well to keep the ride.

As Joao’s homecoming encounters some difficulties, Zac goes on the offensive

Zak Purton – rode astonishing seven wins (Courtesy HKJC)

Zak Purton (Courtesy of HKJC)
After surpassing Douglas Whyte’s record of 572 Happy Valley victories the previous Wednesday, the clinical Australian Zac Purton rattled off five winners from eight rides to become the first man in Hong Kong history to hit 50 for the season before the end of November. This achievement came less than a week after Purton broke the record held by Whyte for the most victories at Happy Valley with 572.

At this point, the five-time champion has 51 winners at a career-best strike rate of 28 percent. He has already raked in the percentage on £7.2 million in prize money with more than three quarters of the season still to go, and Joao Moreira’s single season record of 170 winners is looking ever more attainable.

In the meantime, the plan that Moreira had for beginning his farewell tour by riding several Japanese stars at the LONGINES HKIR meeting the following month has been called into question because the officials have mandated that he must demonstrate his fitness by undergoing a medical examination prior to the big day on December 11th.

It was heroic to regain control


The last week before the HKIR action begins is seldom a slot for future stars, and Wednesday’s eight-race board at Happy Valley seems like it will be a challenging one for gamblers. There are numerous wide-open handicaps on the schedule, and some top fancies might have difficulties due to the draw.

When the inner rail is out wide in the C+3 position, wide gates are very difficult to overcome over the two-turn 1200-meter distance. As a result, the number of horses drawn in the double digits in recent years has been a pitiful 5-168.

However, the bias does not present as much of a problem over the one-turn 1000-meter distance, and Purton’s HEROIC MASTER has a good chance of winning the 1.45 race as a result. Hero Master was excellent over course and distance on only his second HK start, breaking clear of Super Axiom and Special M to win decisively. A weekend double sent Frankie Lor to the top of the trainers’ chart; the victory put Hero Master ahead of Super Axiom and Special M.

A 9-pound weight increase seems to be completely justified, and Heroic Master appears to be in a good position to defy it in what should be a race raced at a quick pace. Special M, who has Bowman for the first time, is selected as the saver and Quinella option in this race.

A better draw results in brighter hopes for the Kingdom.
After weaving in and then out again to find clear sailing, Purton and RATTAN KINGDOM were unable to overcome stall 11 over 1200 meters when they raced in the Valley three weeks ago. Despite their best efforts, the duo finished in second place.

Stall 4 seems to be a much more ideal position for the Class 4 dash at 1.15, and Jamie Richards, who is Hong Kong’s newest handler, appears to have a five-year-old that is going to come very close to winning.

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