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Racing on 04.12.2022
Racing on 05.12.2022
"We are both empty and at the end of our tether".

It was a neck-and-neck race with a tension that was hard to beat: the battle for the jockey championship in Hong Kong had it down to the wire. Finally, Zac Purton won his fifth Hong Kong jockeys` title at the expense of Joao Moreira with a quadruple victory on the last day.

Purton and Moreira went into the decider for the title with 132 wins each, but due to racing dead twice, Purton would have won the title if both riders had drawn.

However, that did not happen and Purton secured the title with three races to go when he overtook Moreira by a head in a thrilling finish on the Douglas Whyte-trained Turin Redsun.

The jockey had earlier taken the lead with his victory on Turquoise Alpha and doubled his advantage when Never Too Soon won the seventh race in commanding fashion. He added a fourth score to the day`s tally with a win on Lucky Sweynesse.

Speaking to the Hong Kong Jockey Club, Purton said, "Every title is special in its own way and I want to pay my respects to Joao [Moreira] as well. It`s been a really difficult season and difficult last three years for all of us in Hong Kong because we`ve had to homeschool the kids and we`ve both had health issues.

"It was tough and we both deserved to win. It took a lot of energy out of us and I think we are both empty and at the end of our tether. It`s nice that we can wrap it up today and both go on holiday."

It was a frustrating day for Moreira, who placed in four of his rides but was unable to secure the decisive victory that would have kept him in the race for the title.

Purton still has a long way to go to match the achievements of 13-time champion jockey Douglas Whyte, who won the title consecutively from 2001 to 2013, but the victory adds to title wins in 2014, 2018, 2019 and 2020.

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