By Hans Ebert

He’s not one to show his emotions. He keeps it in check. He leaves all that showbiz- and it’s needed- to others. But it was a different Zac Purton tonight- pumping the air, enjoying the moment, perhaps happily relieved- because it was quite an extraordinary Happy Wednesday at Happy Valley.

This was the night, the Zac Attack could do no wrong. The night when everything fell into place. The night he rode four consecutive winners for trainer Francis Lui.

Two of those winners landed on his lap when Vincent CY Ho, the original rider booked for the rides, came down with a stomach ailment.

Extra rides landing on his lap is one thing. Making them count is something else. And Zac made those winners look as easy as 1,2,3,4. These stretched his lead to seven winners in front of Joao Moreira.

No matter how hard the Magic Man tried, he kept falling one short. The rabbits just weren’t being pulled out of his sombrero. He ended the night coming second to his arch enemy on three occasions.

It couldn’t have been an easy pill to swallow. And facing a one day suspension, the odds of the Hong Kong Jockeys Premiership going down to the wire just snapped.

As a not so insignificant detour, his quartet of winners, puts trainer Francis Lui only two behind Ricky Yiu for this year’s champion trainer’s title.

Nipping at their heels is Tony Cruz and it would be silly to count the legendary Putha Man out of contention for the title. He’ll continue to put the pedal to the metal and ask his riders to “Chill, man”.

Tonight, however, belonged to Zac Purton. He OWNED it. It was a master class in the athleticism needed to be one of the two or three best riders in the world.

Hong Kong racing is fortunate to have him here just as we are to have Joao Moreira, Karis Teetan, Vincent Ho, all those apprentice riders coming of age and a horse racing colony or community or fraternity or whatever it’s called today that has its troughs and valleys.

Still, to this follower of horse racing, he wouldn’t trade it for anywhere else in the world.

There’s no place like Hong Kong- multicultural Hong Kong. And all the different nationalities that make racing here twice a week come alive, always always always serve to remind me that this is a sport, a pastime, and part of the Hong Kong lifestyle which come together to give this city a pulse.

Nada to add.

#ZacPurton #FrancisLui #TonyCruz #HKRacing