Exultant caps Purton’s Group 1 sweep
GROUP 1 FWD QUEEN ELIZABETH II CUP
Jockey Zac Purton was elated and deflated after Exultant's grinding win in Sunday's HK$25 million (S$4.5 million) Group 1 FWD Queen Elizabeth II Cup at Sha Tin.
The Tony Cruz-trained brave bay's willingness to stretch for his rider through the gruelling 2,000m feature meant the champion jockey became the only rider to have won every Group 1 race on the Hong Kong calendar.
"The feeling going over the line - it was a combination of everything," said Purton.
"I've come close to winning this race so many times, it's been very frustrating and, after missing the bob in the previous race, to win this was a sense of relief."
Purton's day had not lived up to his hopes until Exultant produced a typically rugged yet classy run to ensure the jockey finally got his hands on the one big trophy that had eluded him.
Disappointment was raw, as his Group 1 Chairman's Sprint Prize mount, front-runner Aethero, bled and finished last earlier and then Beauty Generation was beaten by a short head by Southern Legend in the Group 1 Champions Mile.