Navas lifts the Cup again as Purton bags a double

It may be a bread and butter Class 4 handicap but the Craigengower Cricket Club Challenge Cup (1200m) was the feature at Happy Valley on Wednesday (16 January) night and for the second year running Navas (133lb) carried off the trophy, along with the HK$524,400 first prize purse.

Last season the Richard Gibson-trained gelding scored by a short-head under apprentice Dylan Mo; this time it was even tighter, Zac Purton driving him to a thrilling nose verdict over Dollar Reward (122lb) with another nose to third-placed Jolly Bountiful (131lb).

“You don’t get tighter than that, do you? That’s the difference the champion jockey makes,” Gibson said.

The six-year-old’s victory sealed a double for Purton, the Australian having taken race two by a head on the Michael Chang-trained Show Mission.

“When you don’t have much in hand they’re always going to be tight – they always are here at the Valley. On both horses, I just got the right run when I needed it and that counted,” Purton said.

“Class 3 is just a bit strong for Navas,” he continued. “It’s not easy in Class 4 either because he’s got to carry the big weights but he just needs the right type of run and when he gets it he can deliver.”



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