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Zac Purton notches Hong Kong milestone

Australian Zac Purton has become just the fourth jockey to ride 700 winners or more in Hong Kong.

Purton, who has been riding in Hong Kong for the past decade, reached the milestone on Sunday aboard Chung Wah Spirit in the Class Three Handicap (1400m).

Douglas Whyte holds the record with 1757 wins, with the retired Tony Cruz on 946 and another Australian Brett Prebble on 783.

Purton, who also won the championship in 2013/14, said he hoped to build on his total.

“It’s been a long journey,” Purton told the HK Jockey Club.

“When I arrived here in September 2007, I struggled for support early on. I didn’t know anyone and at the weight I was riding, it was hard to compete with the other boys. It took a long time to get some support and get going.

“It’s been a lot of hard work over a lot of years.

“I’m pretty happy with the way things have gone and it is a nice milestone to get to, but there’s still a long way to go – although I’ll never catch Douglas, I don’t think.”

Chung Wah Spirit, who is trained by one of Purton’s biggest supporters Dennis Yip, gave Purton his 88th Hong Kong winner for the season.

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