Zac Purton and John Moore developed one of the great Group 1 relationships in Hong Kong racing. Photo by HKJC.

“We are finishing off how we started” Purton pays tribute to departing Moore

Michael Cox




Hong Kong’s premier jockey Zac Purton has paid tribute to retiring trainer John Moore and reflected on their “roller coaster” relationship over the past 13 seasons.

“His attention to detail is amazing,” Purton told Hutchi’s Honkers.

“He sits up there in the trainers stand and he can just notice little things with the horses that not a lot of people can, and he gets in and around the stables. He is very particular about a lot of things he does, and he stresses a lot about it. He thinks a lot about it. But it is because of that level of focus and intensity that he can turn the horses out in the fashion that he wants to.”

“What I have found to be really special with him is his ability to fine tune and tweak a horse at the right times and make those fifty-fifty decisions and get them right when it matters.”

“It is no fluke what he has been able to achieve. He has done it with a number of horses at a high level over a long period of time. He is across everything: the feed, the shoeing – every aspect and every little fine detail, he wants to know as much as he can about it and have as much input as he can to the horses in his care. He doesn’t leave anything to chance, he doesn’t leave the responsibility to anybody else and he makes sure he is across the board on everything.”

READ: THE STANDARD – From George To John, The Moore Legacy That Marks Hong Kong.

Purton has shared plenty of big race success with the champion trainer – most notably with champion miler Beauty Generation in recent seasons – but the duo also had their share of falling outs.


Beauty Generation wins his second Group 1 Hong Kong Mile with Purton in the saddle for John Moore.


“It has been a roller coaster between the two of us,” Purton said.

“When I came to Hong Kong in 2007 he was one of the first trainers to support me, he took me under his wing like he does a lot of the Australian jockeys when they arrive.”

That early support included Purton’s first group race victory in Hong Kong aboard Able One in the 2008 G3 Premier Cup but Darren Beadman’s arrival as stable jockey for Moore pushed Purton down the pecking order.

“Unfortunately for me equine influenza hit Australia and he got Darren up to be stable jockey and that pushed me to the side a little bit, but he still gave me opportunities.”

After Beadman’s retirement, the duo reunited with Military Attack and Purton’s tactical riding unlocked the key to the import, who subsequently clinched 2012-13 horse of the year and captured Moore’s first overseas Group 1 in the 2013 Singapore Airlines International Cup.


Military Attack won the 2013 Singapore Airlines International Cup for Zac Purton and John Moore.


“We took him (Military Attack) to the top of the tree,” Purton said.

“That win in Singapore was special. I have never seen emotion like that in John before or since. It was quite unique to see the adrenaline running through him and the appreciation he had for that moment. It was a huge win and a great training performance.”


Zac Purton and John Moore and connections celebrate winning a Group 1 in Singapore for Hong Kong.


“After that John decided I wasn’t the best jockey for the horse and we went our separate ways for a while. But, as quite often is the case here in Hong Kong, we came back together and we had a fantastic run of success.”

Purton’s race-winning ride on Dominant in the 2013 Hong Kong Vase was another highlight among 21 feature race wins for the trainer, including seven G1s on Beauty Generation and 15 total wins on 10 individual horses so far this season.

“We are finishing off how we started – he has provided me a lot of my big race success in Hong Kong and I will be forever grateful for the support he has given me,” Purton said.




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