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Superstar hoop Zac Purton jetting in for Canterbury Stakes assault

The champion jockey has secured key rides for the upcoming Sydney Autumn Racing Carnival

February 20, 2023

Superstar jockey Zac Purton will make a rare riding raid to Australia to partner some big name horses including Artorius during the Sydney Autumn Racing Carnival.

And the champion Hong Kong jockey has not ruled out making a more permanent move back to Australian shores.

News Corp can reveal the Hong Kong-based riding genius will partner Artorius in the Group 1 Canterbury Stakes at Randwick on March 4 and two-year-old King’s Gambit in the Group 2 Todman Stakes on the same day.

It is also likely Purton will ride the Michael Freedman-trained Communist in the Group 1 Randwick Guineas.

Purton hasn’t ridden in Australia since 2018 when he partnered Finche into fourth in Cross Counter’s Melbourne Cup.

“I am coming back to ride Artorius in the Canterbury Stakes and some other very good horses,” Purton told News Corp.

“It works out well because I got suspended yesterday in Hong Kong and I start my suspension after I ride in Sydney, so maybe I can spend a bit of extra time there (in Australia).

“I am looking forward to riding back in Sydney again, it has been a while.

“Who knows, maybe I will enjoy it back there and stay there?”

Both Artorius and King’s Gambit are part-owned by Newgate.

A majority stake in Anthony and Sam Freedman-trained Artorius was acquired after he won the Blue Diamond Stakes in 2021 while King’s Gambit was born and raised at Newgate Farm.

Artorius did not race in the spring but could return to the UK in winter after finishing third in the Platinum Jubilee Stakes at Royal Ascot and the July Cup at Newmarket last year.

He is currently on the $6 line of betting with TAB to win the Canterbury Stakes.

King’s Gambit did plenty wrong in the Silver Slipper last Saturday but the boom colt finished well to be beaten less than a length.

Peter and Paul Snowden-trained King’s Gambit is on the $15 line in Golden Slipper betting.

Communist is a $21 chance in the Randwick Guineas.

By Ben Dorries Racenet

* Additional reporting by Trenton Akers

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