By News Team
17th April 2020
The jockeys’ title race took another turn at Happy Valley on Wednesday as a Zac Purton treble meant the Australian reached 100 winners for the season and cut Joao Moreira’s lead at the top to just one. The battle resumes this Sunday at Sha Tin and both riders will be eager to add to their tallies.
Heza Beauty of a ride for Moreira
Purton has eight rides on the Sha Tin card, but Moreira has rides in all 10 races, with HEZA BEAUTY looking the pick of those in the Norfolk Handicap (8:40am). The three-year-old will be having just his fourth career start in Hong Kong, but everything suggests he’s finally getting the hang of things.
He finished fifth on his first two starts and was only beaten by just over three lengths in both. Those encouraging performances saw him sent off favourite for a Sha Tin handicap in March where he was only just touched off to finish a length-third. The form of that run looks solid with the winner, Tung Wah Glory, beaten a neck at Happy Valley on Wednesday, while the fifth, sixth and eighth have run well since too.
A draw in stall three is ideal and he should go very close to notching his first career success here.
Yiu’s Eternal Harvest an intriguing contender
‘Magic Man’ Moreira looks to hold very strong claims of a double on the card when he gets aboard FANTASY in the Cumberland Handicap (9:10am). The four-year-old son of Sizzling has looked a horse going places this season and was an impressive winner last time over course and distance. He’s gone up eight pounds for that, which obviously makes his life tougher, but there is plenty of substance to his form with a number of the horses he has beaten running well subsequently.
He’ll be tough to beat as Moreira hunts more winners in his search for a fourth jockeys’ title, but there could be a bit of value in going against him with the Ricky Yiu-trained and Vincent Ho-ridden ETERNAL HARVEST. Yiu has enjoyed a stellar season so far, sitting at the head of affairs in the trainers’ title race and his inmate could be an interesting contender here.
He’s only had the three runs so far but all have offered plenty of encouragement. He didn’t run badly when ridden by Ryan Moore on his debut, before stepping up markedly to win a Sha Tin handicap from the front in impressive fashion on his next outing. Similar tactics were employed last time, but he wasn’t quite as good and faded to finish sixth.
However, that might not have been as bad a run as it looked given the winner, Wellington, is very highly regarded and the second and third have both won since. The fifth was also placed at Happy Valley on Wednesday so there is plenty to suggest Eternal Harvest might be very well-handicapped off a mark of 61.
He only has just over three lengths to make up on Fantasy from his debut run and with a huge pull at the weights he might just do that. Fantasy looks sure to go off a short price, so you can expect to get a nice bit of each-way value about the Yiu runner.