02/20/2017 1:58PM

Hong Kong: Top jockeys go at it in Sai Kung Handicap


Jockey Joao Moreira is the runaway leader in the jockey standings on the Hong Kong circuit this year. Through Sunday, Moreira had 97 wins, well clear of second-place Zac Purton, who has 51 victories.

Moreira and Purton have mounts that will be a focus for bettors in Wednesday’s $225,489 Sai Kung Handicap for turf sprinters at Happy Valley Racecourse. The Sai Kung Handicap is run at five furlongs and is the fifth race on an eight-race program, which begins at 6:15 a.m Eastern.

Wagering is available through DRFBets.com.

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Moreira will ride Triumphant Jewel, a 6-year-old gelding who finished a troubled fourth in a minor handicap at Sha Tin Racecourse on Feb. 11. Triumphant Jewel raced in traffic in that race at five furlongs on turf. Wednesday’s race will be the first time Moreira has ridden Triumphant Jewel since October 2014. A closer, Triumphant Jewel won at Happy Valley last June.

Purton has the mount on the consistent D B Pin, a 4-year-old New Zealand-bred gelding who has won three of his six starts. D B Pin, who tends to race as a stalker, won three consecutive races from mid-November to late December before finishing second in a minor handicap at six furlongs on turf at Sha Tin last month.

The Sha Tin race was D B Pin’s first start in a Class 2 handicap, for horses with ratings ranging from 70 to 90. Wednesday’s race has similar conditions at a shorter distance.

D B Pin will carry 130 pounds, 11 more than Triumphant Jewel but three less than topweight Charity Joy, the only runner in the field of 10 with a victory in his last start. Charity Joy won a six-furlong handicap for horses with ratings from 60 to 85 at Happy Valley on Feb. 2. Nash Rawiller, who is tied for third in the Hong Kong standings with 29 wins, has the mount on Charity Joy.