Hall of Fame Hits Purple Patch in Hong Kong

Date: 9 May 2020

Hall of Fame Hits Purple Patch in Hong Kong

At the Ready to Run Sale in 2015, David Ellis purchased just two, two year olds. A Savabeel colt for $230,000 and an Iffraaj gelding for $42,500.

Between them, they would go on to win four Group 1 races. The $42,500 purchase was triple Group 1 winner Gingernuts, who claimed elite titles on both sides of the Tasman before being retired to Te Akau Stud after an almost fatal injury. He won the Group 1 NZ Derby, Group 1 Windsor Park Plate and Group 1 Rosehill Guineas, along with the Group 2 Avondale Guineas.

In his brief, but illustrious career, Gingernuts or "Jerry" as he is affectionately known, raced 12 times - winning six times and placing a further five, for stakes close to $1.3 million.

The other horse was the Savabeel colt Hall of Fame who won the Group 1 Levin Stakes, defeating Savile Row and Jon Snow. He was also the winner of the Listed Zacinto Stakes. He earned $239,000 from his 12 starts in New Zealand, winning five times and placing on six occasions. He was sold to Hong Kong for a very good return to his owners.

Now known as Dances with Dragon, he has really hit his straps in Hong Kong and we were delighted to see him again win stylishly last week. He has now added a further five wins to his CV included three of his last four starts for new trainer Caspar Fownes. His career prize money stands at approx. $1.5 million.

Racing Post commented on his latest win:

Zac Purton arrived at Hong Kong's Happy Valley racetrack on Wednesday night in search of the ignition that might fire him through the season's final two months to a fourth champion jockeys' title.

And, with Lady Luck on his side, a dazzling five-timer certainly proved to be the spark he wished for. The Australian blitzed a winning hat-trick from the first three of nine races - aboard Loriz, Rich And Lucky and Bright Kid.

He met with frustration in Races 4 to 6 and bounced back in Race 7 on Reel Bizzy. He capped a great night aboard Dances With Dragon in the finale.He finished just a short-head second on Eptiwins in Race 4.

Like his arch rival Joao Moreira, who led by a winner before the meeting, Purton had a full book of rides. Moreira drew a blank. His best were two seconds, both beaten by Purton.

Purton's five-timer has propelled him to a four-win lead in a relentless two-way tussle with Moreira for the crown that each has worn three times. The score: 114-110.

"It's been a bit of a grind, so hopefully, I've now got a few more like this ahead of me," said Purton, after sealing his first five-win haul of the campaign.

Purton kept his cool on the Caspar Fownes-trained Dances With Dragon. His topweight mount searched for a clear run and then unleashed a decisive turn-of-foot to fend off the Moreira-ridden Enrichment.

"It wasn't as cool as it probably looked," said Purton. "It was a messy race with quite a bit going on. I had to get off the fence down the back, because the horse in front couldn't hold a spot and was going nowhere.

"I had to come out around on the corner and then back in and through them. We were lucky to get the run we got but the horse did a good job, he was up to the task."


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