Australian is optimistic going into the new season following a challenging 2021–22 season.
Zac Purton returns to action this weekend after a trying 2021–22 season, however he may not be relishing the new season like a 21-year-old.
Purton has been dealing with a number of aches and pains despite spending the off-season resting in Dubai and the Maldives. Purton battled problems for much of last term, especially following his severe fall in the Hong Kong Sprint in December.
Additionally, the Jockey Club's "racing bubble" suffered greatly psychologically from months of oppressive Covid-19 regulations, and many people began to worry about their futures in Hong Kong.
Many people are speculating about how much longer the Australian is willing to push his 39-year-old body and whether this will be his final campaign in a city that lags behind the rest of the world in coronavirus preparedness.
But despite rumors about his future, Purton is concentrating on the task at hand as he prepares for Sunday's season opener.
He stated, "I'm excited to get out there and see what happens. It's a new season." This season, I'll take things as they come and figure things out from there.
To continue where he left off on the final day of the previous campaign, when he reeled off an astonishing four-timer to break the tie with Joao Moreira and claim a sixth jockeys' premiership, Purton has nine rides this weekend.
Moreira will miss at least the first two games of the season as he works to get back to somewhere close to full fitness, and he hasn't given any assurances that Hong Kong will be a part of his long-term plans. He gets the chance to distance himself from Moreira once more.
Purton said of his championship-winning quartet, "I honestly didn't have any time to ponder on it since I was in such a rush to go to the airport we sort of just plunged straight into the holiday and I didn't really give it any more consideration."
It was strange that I didn't think about it, but it was wonderful that I was able to finish the job and go on vacation. It was reviving to spend some time outside of Hong Kong and away from everything that is going on here.
Purton does have pleasant memories of his ride on the David Hall-trained horse Never Too Soon, with whom he will join up once more in Sunday's Class Three Sunset Peak Handicap (1,400m).
Given the circumstances, "that was definitely one of my rides of the season," he added. "Everything was on the line and the fence appeared to be off that day."
They "ran pretty hard through the first part of the race, and then at the corner they slammed on the breaks and all fanned a little bit, and I went from being second last to sliding on the inside and joining the leader by the time we straightened.
"That just doesn't happen, so he won't ever have that same situation again. He was also drawn strangely in 13, so he'll probably have to go back, making it harder.
"He's up in the ratings too, but he obviously started to show his best form, like he'd started to settle in, so he can surely continue with it," said the commentator.
Purton also rides This Is Charisma for Hall, while he pairs up with another Australian, David Hayes, four times.
For his countryman, Purton boards Wide Blue Yonder, Oriental Smoke, Starry Night, and Birdsville. "I just ended up with four for him, that's just the way it turned out, but he started last season brilliantly and hopefully he can do the same this season and get me up and running," Purton said.