David Hall will thrust Invincible Sage into Group company next year after the talented young sprinter downed older opposition to claim the Class 2 Lukfook Jewellery Cup Handicap at Sha Tin on Sunday as Zac Purton dominated with a quartet.
Unbeaten this season over Sha Tin’s 1000m course, Invincible Sage will be set for the HK$4.2 million Gr3 Bauhinia Sprint Trophy Handicap on 7 January as the lightly-raced gelding bids to continue an ascendent sweep.
Having only his sixth start, Invincible Sage (120lb) gave Zac Purton the third leg of a four-timer, sweeping to a three-quarter of a length margin over Carroll Street (120lb) and Wonder Kit (117lb) in 57.08s to confirm Hall’s opinion of the gelding.
“It’s exciting, and it’s always nice to win the Class 2 race,” Hall said.
“Every run has been down the straight 1000m, so he’s becoming a bit of a track specialist. Each circumstance has been different in its own way. Today, they probably didn’t go as fast as I thought they would, so they didn’t string out as much.
“Zac was there quicker than he wanted to be. He was in front and didn’t have anything to chase, so it was a different race, but he had the class to get the win.”
Purton, who also triumphed on Regent Glory, Toronado Phantom and Aestheticism, was similarly impressed.
“It was a good effort. They didn’t go as fast as we thought they would. I think they all felt there would be a lot of speed in the race and they all sat and looked at each other, so I was a bit closer than I thought I would be,” Purton said.
“I had to present him a little bit earlier, the run was there at the time, so he got there earlier than he normally does, he floated a bit – he’s a nice little horse. He’s got potential, he knows what he’s doing.”
Known as Thron Bone and the winner of three races in Australia – two at Caulfield and one at Flemington – for Jerome Hunter in 2022, Invincible Sage provided Hall’s stable with its 16th victory of the season and earned a PP Bonus of HK$1.5 million on top of prizemoney of HK$1.590 million.
Purton became the first jockey this season to reach the 40-win milestone when David Hayes-trained Regent Glory landed the Class 4 Lukfook Jewellery Wedding Collection Handicap (1200m, dirt). Well supported, Regent Glory appreciated the move to dirt after just one win from 22 previous starts on turf.
- Hong Kong racing continues at Happy Valley on Wednesday 20 December.