The 39-year-old logged a four-timer at Sha Tin on Sunday, including the G3 Premier Cup aboard Beauty Joy (formerly Talladega), to reduce arch-rival Joao Moreira’s lead in the Hong Kong Jockeys’ Premiership to just two with eight meetings remaining.
After suffering a fractured wrist, fractured ribs and a broken nose as one of four riders involved in a sickening fall when riding Lucky Patch in December’s Hong Kong Sprint, Purton was sidelined for a month and has ridden under duress since.
Purton, who has won four Hong Kong jockeys’ crowns (2013/14, 2017/18, 2018/19 & 2019/20), told RSN927’s Racing Pulse on Tuesday that he came close to walking away from the title tilt, due to the pain he was suffering.
“It was only a month ago that I was contemplating hanging the boots up for the rest of the season. My body was in really bad shape, I’d been struggling physically for months and months and months, trying to get myself fit and healthy again,” Purton said.
Purton explained that he has undergone intense rehabilitation with multiple medical professionals in order to stay in the saddle.
“It got to a stage where I wasn’t able to ride, but then they relaxed the restrictions and I was able to see the people I needed to see and get the treatment I needed,” he added.
“Just getting off a horse and giving my body the break has really helped. I’m going to take a few more days off trackwork between now and the end of the season.”
Ahead of Wednesday night’s Happy Valley meeting, where both Moreira and Purton have a full book of rides (nine), the Brazilian has 127 wins and the Aussie 125.
“Physically, I’m probably the best I’ve been since December last year when I had the fall. I’m still not at 100 per cent. I’m grinding away, just trying to turn up and give everything I’ve got, and I just hope it’s going to be enough,” said Purton.