Hong Kong Spot Plays: Reliable Purton Back for More

Profile Picture: J. Keeler Johnson

September 17th, 2019


By J. Keeler Johnson

Hong Kong’s reigning champion jockey Zac Purton enjoyed a fantastic day at Sha Tin last weekend, scoring four victories on a 10-race card while rewarding TwinSpires players with a couple of winning spot plays.

We’ll rely on Purton to keep his momentum going on Wednesday, September 18 at Happy Valley. Once again, the acclaimed jockey is set to ride every event on the eight-race card, which gets underway at 7:15 a.m. ET. He has several live mounts, including the undefeated #6 Reliable Man in the penultimate race, one of two horses we’ll feature for today’s spot plays.

Race 2: Oi Man Handicap (Class 4)

There are only seven starters in this 1,650-meter handicap, and #1 God of Dragon appears to have an advantage. Although he’s gone 0-for-19 so far in Hong Kong, God of Dragon has competed exclusively against tougher Class 3 company and held his own over a variety of distances. In his last five runs -- ranging in distance from 1,200 meters to 2,200 meters -- God of Dragon has finished within 3 ¼ lengths of the winner every time.

God of Dragon demonstrated a sharp turn-of-foot over this course and distance three starts back, unleashing a final quarter-mile in :22.88 to finish fifth by just 1 ½ lengths. On Wednesday, he’ll drop into a Class 4 handicap and should relish the easier competition. As an added bonus, trainer Tony Cruz is off to a sharp start this season with five wins from 25 starters, an impressive 20% strike rate.

Let’s bet God of Dragon to win and play him in the quinella with #3 Charity Wings, who looms as the most likely challenger with top jockey Zac Purton in the saddle. Charity Wings has spent the majority of his career racing 1,650 meters at Happy Valley and wrapped up the 2018-19 season with a trio of respectable fourth-place finishes at this class level. A consistent colt, Charity Wings will carry seven pounds less than God of Dragon and has a chance to spring the upset.

$10.4 to win on #1 God of Dragon
$10.4 quinella: 1,3
$2.6 trifecta: 1,3 with 1,3 with 2,4,7 ($15.6)

Race 7: Wah Fu Handicap (Class 3)

#6 Reliable Team is stepping up from Class 4 to Class 3 company, but this four-year-old son of Reliable Man should be able to handle the challenge. With Zac Purton in the saddle, he kicked off his career by rallying to a pair of victories over this course and 1,200-meter distance, including an impressive 3 ½-length triumph on July 3. On that occasion, Reliable Team recorded a final time of 1:09.64, significantly faster than the class standard of 1:10.10 and slightly faster than the Class 3 standard of 1:09.85.

Reliable Team prepped for his seasonal debut by winning a September 6 barrier trial at Sha Tin; coincidentally, God of Dragon finished third. Reliable Team will retain Purton’s services for Wednesday’s race, and when the dust settles he should have a 3-for-3 record to his credit.

$26 to win on #6 Reliable Team

Good luck!