By Hans Ebert

After watching the races at Shatin on Sunday followed by trying out a new restaurant- average, at best- and then some relaxation techniques for mind and body, especially the toes, it came down to binging on Roadrunner cartoons.

The current on course competition taking place in Hong Kong between the Zac Attack aka Zac Purton and the Magic Man Joao Moreira is looking more and more like those Roadrunner cartoons where Purton, as the Roadrunner, is going, Beep Beep, and thwarting every attempt by Moreira aka Wlle E Coyote to upstage him.

At Shatin on Sunday, Zac Purton went Beep Beep six times and almost made it a magnificent seven by winning the eleventh and last race on an excellent card of racing.

Here, his winning run was finally only just stopped by Joao Moreira who ended the day with four winners.

The only other winner on the day went to visiting jockey James McDonald who won the John Moore trained Monica for the interestingly named The Apple Of My Eyes Syndicate.

By combining with trainer Caspar Fownes the night before to take out the Group 1 Kranji Mile in facile manner on Southern Legend and leaving the Looney Toons lead-at-all-costs strategy of having the other Hong Kong runner in the race- Singapore Sling- in tatters, The Zac Attack and Roadrunner and Zac Purton returned to home base and went about collecting six more winners.

This included taking out the day’s two Group races- the Group 3 Sha Tin Vase on Little Giant for trainer David Hall and the Tony Cruz-trained Exultant winning the Group One Champions And Chaters Cup.

He was also involved in two more than interesting wins, and both for John Moore- the highly promising two year olds Aethero and Thanks Forever.

The win of Aethero was expected. It was nothing more than an exhibition gallop by a young galloper who can be another Able Friend. Yes, he’s that good. This is a monster of a horse. He could be anything.

When Thanks Forever made his long awaited return to racing after a patient training regime by John Moore and made the previously undefeated $1.1 favourite Voyage Warrior struggle for the runner up spot, it added to the drama of that Game Of Thrones going on for the trainers championship.

This Game Of Thrones might have once included Frankie Lor, but after Sunday, the script says the fight for power is between current champion John Size and John Moore, at 70, and supposedly facing compulsory retirement at the end of next season.

Why supposedly? Well, IF John Moore were to overhaul the laid back John Size who’s leading the title chase by seven winners and depending on his stable jockey Joao Moreira to bring in the winners, the veteran trainer just might be thrown some form of lifeline.

Apart from the world’s best miler in Beauty Generation, John Moore now has two new bullets in his arsenal of horsepower in these exciting two year olds. Both will be very good for the image of Hong Kong racing. The HKJC knows this.

If or when John Moore retires while his stable stars are peaking or yet to peak, where could these horses go to the satisfaction of those who own them?

To Douglas Whyte who becomes a trainer next season? Maybe, but at least not without Moore’s blessing. And seeing the quite open bromance blooming between the former champion jockey and the Moores- father John and his bloodstock agent son George- let’s not be so naive as to think there’s not some kind of “understanding” already in place. Right?

Smiling and watching from the sidelines is, no doubt, the Roadrunner aka Zac Purton.

Whatever happens, he has a lock on these rides. Right now, it’s seeing out this season by bettering his best ever season and maybe, one day, actually arriving at the track carrying a broomstick just to give that old cliché a well deserved rest.

As for Joao Moreira, the rest of this season will be all about ensuring that he delivers the goods for his boss and doesn’t have to fight the “enemy within” which just might have cost him winning on Full Of Joy.

His plans for next season for a superb horseman not used to playing second fiddle? Time will tell. One thing is for sure. The continuous sounds of “Beep Beep” must be stopped. But how?

For racing fans? Fascinating viewing and an extremely clever script full of interesting twists and turns and a couple of real cliffhangers.

#HKracing #ZacPurton #JoaoMoreira #JohnMoore #JohnSize #Aethero #KranjiMile