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Purton and King edged out for jockey crown in Hong Kong

Staff WritersPress Association
Aussie Zac Purton has finished runner-up in the International Jockeys' Championship in Hong Kong. (James Ross/AAP PHOTOS)
Camera IconAussie Zac Purton has finished runner-up in the International Jockeys' Championship in Hong Kong. (James Ross/AAP PHOTOS) Credit: AAP

Star Australian pilot Zac Purton has had a near miss in the battle for the prestigious International Jockeys' Championship at Happy Valley in Hong Kong, finishing runner-up behind local rider Vincent Ho.

Ho took the title with 20 points, with NSW ace Purton second on 18 and Rachel King, Britain's Australian-based multiple Group One-winner, third on 16 in Wednesday's event.

Ho, best known for his association with local superstar Golden Sixty, who will be back in action at the weekend attempting to win the Hong Kong Mile for a third time, needed victory in the last leg on Tomodachi Kokoroe to seal the title, having finished third in the first two contests.

Stellar performers like the British trio of Ryan Moore, Tom Marquand and Hollie Doyle and Lismore's Purton were also in action, but Ho sealed victory with a half-length success aboard David Hayes' charge.

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"Of course I'm very happy, I didn't know about the score so it's great," said Ho.

"I'm pleased to have a winner. When the horse changed legs today, he came home very well.

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"I was lucky to get some good draws today and of course it is a privilege to join all the top jockeys here, I enjoy racing against them.

"It's good to have a home-grown jockey win it to inspire more upcoming jockeys."

King won the first leg on Oversubscribed and said: "I had to pinch myself halfway up the straight as the horse just travelled into it and if anything, I thought I might have got there a little bit too soon.

"He was a beautiful ride, he showed me around the track and it was a perfect start."

Moore, who won the second leg on M Unicorn, said: "It's great to have a winner but I appreciate being here."

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