The gap at the top of the jockey standings is the biggest it’s been since mid-March. As the solitary winner at Sha Tin on Sunday, Zac Purton’s lead over rival Joao Moreira now stands at four.

Both jockeys have a full book of nine rides on Wednesday’s card at Happy Valley and Moreira will be keen to make significant inroads into the Australian’s lead at the inner-city track.

Blastoise can pump his rivals into submission

Just the eight runners go to post for the opener, the Old Bailey Handicap (11:45am), but it’s an intriguing contest on paper. The eye is drawn to Antoine Hamelin’s mount BLASTOISE who could go well despite a rapid rise in the weights in recent months.

Since October, David Ferraris’ representative has run nine times and he has only finished outside of the first-two twice, including two victories. Such consistent performances have seen his rating rocket from 48 to 70, but that hasn’t stopped him, and he continues to run with great credit.

Since winning a Class 3 contest over 1m1f at Happy Valley, he has only just been touched off twice off six and seven pound higher marks at Sha Tin and again at the Valley, so he’s clearly up to this level. He’s up two pounds for that most recent second to Beauty Happy, but he now three pounds better off with that rival having only been beaten a neck.

He steps up to 1m3f for the first time, but the way he finished last time suggests the extra distance should pose no problems and with the pull at the weights he could give Hamelin an opening winner.

Purton to put on another Show with Classic Posh

It could be another good day at Happy Valley for Purton as holds strong claims aboard CLASSIC POSH and SKY SHOW.

The former runs in the Wyndham Handicap (12:45pm) and based on his most recent win at Sha Tin, he looks to have finally got the hang of things. The former Australian galloper had shown much in previous seven starts in HK, but he showed a nice attitude to hold off the well-touted Heza Beauty over 7f at Sha Tin. He’s up five pounds for that maiden success, but that still means he can run in this Class 4 contest and although he has to give weight away to all of his rivals, he could easily prove better than this level.

Sky Show couldn’t have been much more impressive on his last start and he is another who should go well. Jimmy Ting’s three-year-old coasted clear in very taking fashion over course and distance and there is surely loads more to come.

Given he was so impressive, it’s unsurprising he’s been given an eight-pound hike in the weights, but he’s still allowed to run in a Class 4 here. Based on what we saw last time, he looks destined for bigger and better things.

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