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Australian jockey Purton in HK race fall

Australian jockey Zac Purton has been involved in a fall in Hong Kong that marred the most important meeting of the Asian racing hub’s season.

Purton was among several riders who came to grief in the prestigious Hong Kong Sprint at Sha Tin on Sunday.

His mount Lucky Patch was a victim of a chain reaction through the field when rank outsider Amazing Star stumbled on the home turn.

A Hong Kong Jockey Club statement said Purton had been ruled out of the remainder of the world-renowned meeting after he was taken to hospital.

Purton is one of Australia’s finest racing exports as a much-decorated jockey who has been plying his trade in Hong Kong for more than a decade.

As recently as Wednesday night, the 38-year-old upstaged the world’s best riders in winning the International Jockeys’ Championship at Happy Valley.

And he started Sunday’s meeting in brilliant style, winning the first three support races.

Fellow Australian jockey Blake Shinn’s horse Sky Field avoided the home turn mayhem to win the Sprint.

“I have mixed emotions for winning this race today,” Shinn said.

“Obviously, the first emotion is that my feelings are with the fallen jockeys and horses out there.

“It’s gut-wrenching for any rider to see a horse go down. What’s happened today, it’s a real bitter-sweet win and in a way it’s a hard win to take in the circumstances.”

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