Purton and Moore vie for third IJC title, Latest Racing News - The New Paper

Purton and Moore vie for third IJC title

A win will make one of them equal the feat of Dettori and Whyte

Bidding to join Frankie Dettori and Douglas Whyte as a three-time winner of the HK$800,000 (S$140,000) Longines International Jockeys' Championship (IJC), Zac Purton believes fellow dual champion Ryan Moore is the rider to beat at Happy Valley tonight.

The 2017 and 2020 champion and Moore, who won the series in 2009 and 2010, will square off in a four-race series at the city circuit against 10 other riders.

They are Mickael Barzalona (France), James McDonald (New Zealand), Vincent Ho (Hong Kong), Yuga Kawada (Japan), Hollie Doyle (Britain), Joao Moreira (Hong Kong), Tom Marquand (Britain), Alexis Badel (Hong Kong), Damian Lane (Australia) and Lyle Hewitson (South Africa).

Assessing the allocation of rides after a ceremony at Sha Tin on Monday, Purton (Hong Kong) immediately identified Moore (Britain) as the most serious threat to his ambitions of a third crown.

"My first impression was that Ryan Moore had some decent rides. He seems to get good rides and good gates every year, and I thought Yuga Kawada and Damian Lane had some nice rides as well. But that might change once I look at it with a little bit more depth," said the Australian.

"I like riding at the Valley so that certainly helps. But, like in every race, every week, you need some luck and I'll need plenty of that. Let's see how we go. It's good to see more depth in the fields as well, so it's going to make for an exciting competition."

Purton leads the Hong Kong jockeys' championship by 10 with 46 wins to Moreira's 36.

He hopes to build on that advantage when he partners Circuit Seven, Glorious Lover, Amazing One Plus and Shining Gem in the IJC.

Moore, rated the 2021 Longines World's Best Jockey, will ride Meridian Genius, AI One, Golden Link and Hong Kong Bet.

Frenchman Badel, who finished joint-third last season with Doyle, will again represent the home team with a decent hand - Fabulous Eight, Zhan Jiang Rocks, Nothing New and Resolute.

"I have two solid, competitive rides I would say and it's all about delivering on those and getting points on the others as well. It's all about consistency throughout the meeting and it seems to be very open and I believe the quality of the horses is quite good in the Class 3 races," he said.

"It would be great (to win), it's very exciting and I'm looking forward to it.

"Last year, I was an outsider on paper, but all the horses ran well, so nothing is impossible. It's very open and anything can happen.

"I'll be trying my best to give the horses every chance and it will be good to see all my colleagues from overseas."

Ho hopes to use the IJC as a positive springboard into Sunday's Hong Kong International Races after being allocated Faribault, More Than Enough, The Anomaly and Wood On Fire.

"They're okay. The draws are okay as well, so it will be interesting. I think my rides are quite interesting, actually."

Jockeys are awarded 12 points for a race win, six points for finishing second and four points for third across the four races.

Apart from offering the most lucrative jockey series prize in horse racing - HK$500,000 to the winner - the series also carries a HK$200,000 bounty for the trainer who scores the highest number of points in the series. - HKJC