With the first of Melbourne’s three big spring features in the bag, Zac Purton will now be out to add the second when he rides Sacred Falls in the Cox Plate.
The Hong Kong-based Australian rode Japanese horse Admire Rakti to a narrow but convincing win in Saturday’s Caulfield Cup with the win elevating the stayer to Melbourne Cup favouritism.
Racing Victoria’s chief handicapper Greg Carpenter will announce on Monday whether Admire Rakti – who has topweight of 58kg for the Melbourne Cup – gets a weight penalty for the 3200m Flemington feature on November 4.
On Saturday at Moonee Valley, Purton will be back in Melbourne hoping he can add a Cox Plate on Sacred Falls to his wins in the Doncaster Mile and George Main Stakes on the horse this year.
Purton has shown his class on the world stage and broke Douglas Whyte’s stranglehold on the Hong Kong premiership last season.
He has made the most of his chances in Australia in 2014, flying in from Hong Kong to snare three Group Ones so far this year.
“I worked very hard to get where I got in Hong Kong and it took me a lot of years to get there, but I specifically targeted being able to do that and luckily I was able to do it,” Purton said.
“Doing it once doesn’t mean the end of the road for me, I have to back up and try and do it again.
“I love to travel the world and I like riding in these races and now I’m really getting the opportunities and it is what every jockey dreams of.”
Sacred Falls is one of several Waller-trained horses which will gallop at Moonee Valley on Tuesday morning at Breakfast With The Best.
The five-year-old is second favourite for the $3 million weight-for-age Cox Plate (2040m) behind last year’s Caulfield Cup winner Fawkner who has returned in top form this spring.
Fawkner was a close second in the Makybe Diva Stakes first-up before winning the Caulfield Stakes last Saturday week when Sacred Falls ran home from last to finish fourth.
Sacred Falls has four Group One wins at 1600m but is yet to win at 2000m, with his best result at the trip a three-quarter length second to It’s A Dundeel in the $4 million Queen Elizabeth Stakes at Randwick in April.