• The week’s significant milestones
12 Zac Purton
Hong Kong: With the defeats of Beauty Generation and Aethero, it was a mixed bag for Zac Purton at Sha Tin on FWD Champions Day on Sunday [April 26]. However, the Aussie jockey reached a notable milestone with a winning ride on hot favourite Exultant in the featured Queen Elizabeth II Cup as he became the first jockey ever to claim all 12 of Hong Kong’s G1 contests.
The 37-year-old, who won the King’s Stand Stakes on Little Bridge at Royal Ascot in 2012, is currently involved in a ding-dong battle with arch-rival Joao Moreira for the HK title, with the Brazilian ‘Magic Man’ leading 107-104.
141 Brian Hughes
GB: The 2019-20 jumps season was due to end at Sandown Park on Saturday [April 25]. Owing to coronavirus, in reality the abbreviated campaign ended on March 17, with Brian Hughes wresting the jockeys’ title from four-time winner Richard Johnson with 141 winners.
Hughes, 34, is the first northern-based champion since Jonjo O’Neill in 1980. O’Neill’s son, Jonjo O’Neill jnr, is champion conditional with 61 victories. Nicky Henderson is champion trainer for the sixth time, with JP McManus the leading owner.
4 French Group races
France: Racing is set to restart after the coronavirus shutdown on May 11 at ParisLongchamp with bumper card featuring four Group races: a pair of Guineas trials (the Prix de la Grotte and Prix Fontainebleau) plus the G2 Prix d’Harcourt and G3 Prix de Saint-Georges.
The Poules d’Essai meeting is set to take place on Monday, June 1. Later in the same, the Juddmonte Grand Prix de Paris is moved to the Arc trials card on September 13, superseding the Prix Niel.
100 Nanako Fujita
Japan: Nanako Fujita, the only female jockey licensed by the JRA, partnered the 100th winner of her career when she partnered Silver Jack to win the opener at Fukushima on Saturday [April 25]. The 22-year-old has ridden ten winners this season.
Germany: Baden-Baden, Germany’s premier venue, is planning to stage two 12-race cards at its spring meeting on May 23-24.