Beluga helps Zac hit 40 in day’s feature

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  • November 15, 2022
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Champion jockey Zac Purton surged to 40 wins for the season as Tavistock gelding Beluga reached the high point of his career with Class 1 Panasonic Cup Handicap (1400m) victory at Sha Tin on Saturday.

Extending his lead over second-placed Vincent Ho (16) to 24 wins in the championship, Purton reprised vintage form to give trainer David Hall his first Panasonic Cup success, rallying a game Beluga to deny Blaze Warrior by a neck with Circuit Stellar a further short head away in third place.

It was the sixth career victory for the six-year-old, who has been a good money spinner for connections.

“It’s the highest he’s ever been in the (handicap) ratings, so it was never going to be easy for him but he got in with a light weight and a good draw (barrier one) and the way the race was run certainly helped him as well,” Purton said.

“But he showed a lot of heart. He wasn’t changing his leg and not really concentrating on what he was doing until the other horse (Blaze Warrior) got in front of him and then he decided to have another go on the line and he ended up getting it done.”

Hall, who bought Beluga from the 2018 New Zealand Bloodstock Ready to Run Sale, is likely to next aim the Tavistock gelding at the Class 1 Chevalier Cup Handicap (1600m) at Sha Tin on 27 November.

“Zac did a good job. He’s a very honest, consistent horse and barrier one certainly helps the job along as well. With the handicap conditions, it was a really nice race for him today and we were able to dig deep and pull it off,” Hall said.

“He’s been a great advertisement for the stable, I bought him out of the Ready to Run Sale myself. To see him get to this level and be able to pull that race off today, it was a very good win for the stable.”

Beluga was initially purchased out of Curraghmore’s 2018 New Zealand Bloodstock Book 1 Yearling Sale draft for $150,000 by a partnership which featured Americans Joe Miller, Kip Elser and Justin Casse, along with leading Kiwi breeze-up vendor Sam Beatson of Riversley Park.

Out of the Written Tycoon mare Prestigious Miss, Beluga was presented through Riversley Park’s New Zealand Bloodstock Ready To Run Sale draft later that year where he was bought by bloodstock agent John Foote for $400,000 in conjunction with long-standing client David Hall.

The son of Tavistock has now won just shy of HK$9 million with six wins and nine placings from 23 starts.

The late Cambridge Stud stallion Tavistock is represented by three lots at this week’s New Zealand Bloodstock Ready To Run Sale, the last young-stock by the sire to be offered at public auction. – NZ Racing Desk

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