The jockeys' allocation for Wednesday night's International Jockeys'
Championship took place at Sha Tin Racecourse Monday morning. Top jockey Zac
Purton, fresh from winning the World Super Jockeys Series in Japan at the end of
November, is hoping his luck can hold for the annual Happy Valley event, which
has again drawn 12 of the world's finest riders.
"It's been quite a year and hopefully the good times aren't over yet," Purton
said in reference to Wednesday night and Sunday's International races, after the
allocation of mounts for the four International Jockeys' Championship races.
Purton has had much to celebrate in 2012 aside from his series win in Japan.
He, of course, partnered star Hong Kong sprinter Little Bridge to victory at
Royal Ascot in June; he was married to Nicole Cassidy last Friday and he is
second only to perennial champion Douglas Whyte in the jockeys' premiership this
"On balance, it looks like my rides for Wednesday are OK," Purton said.
"Obviously I'll need to head home and have another look at the form and the
barrier draws and you always need a bit of luck in these races but we might be
"I'm riding two horses (All Lucky and Chancellor) for Tony Cruz and I'm not
that familiar with them but Matthew (Chadwick) seemed a bit disappointed that he
didn't draw at least one of them, so I'm taking that as a good sign."
Purton said he was also looking forward to the Hong Kong International Races
on Sunday when his mounts will include high profile runners Ambitious Dragon and
"It's a great week to be in Hong Kong even if it did mean we didn't get much
of a honeymoon," he said.
In the Hong Kong Sprint, Purton will be competing against his father-in-law
Jim Cassidy, who rides Australian sprinter Sea Siren.
Hong Kong's 12-time champion jockey Whyte was, like Purton, keen to do some
more homework before commenting on his Wednesday night prospects.
"I need to study the form a bit further and check the draws because we all
know how important that can be at the Valley. Whatever happens, I'll be giving
it my best shot," Whyte said.
Whyte, the current season premiership leader on 28 wins, will ride China
Delight, Expectator and two interesting runners for Derek Cruz in the final two
legs -- Honey Princess and My Home Town.