On the record: Zac Purton, Brian Hughes, Nanako Fujita and more …

• The week’s significant milestones

Horse Racing Exultant and Zac Purton
Sighs of relief: Zac Purton smiles after winning the QEII Cup on Exultant. Photo: HKJC

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.

Details of the revised French programme at France Galop

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.


Horse Racing Nanako Fujita 100
Nanako Fujita: 100 JRA winners after success in the opener at Fukushima on Saturday

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.


12 races

Germany: Baden-Baden, Germany’s premier venue, is planning to stage two 12-race cards at its spring meeting on May 23-24.

TW3: TRC rankings star: Vincent Ho

TW3: Best Beyer: Volatile

TW3: Meanwhile in … Stetchworth (specifically the Dettori household)