Zac Purton is confident Tuchel's racing pattern and class will allow the rising star to enhance an already impressive record when the Hong Kong Derby (2000m) runner-up goes around at Sha Tin on Saturday (10 June).
With four wins at 1400m and a last-start victory over 1600m at Sha Tin, Tuchel has been tried only twice at 1800m or beyond, finishing fourth in the Hong Kong Classic Cup (1800m) before finishing a short-head second in the Hong Kong Derby behind Voyage Bubble.
Based on those performances and Tuchel's capacity to race close to the speed, Purton believes the Redwood gelding can press for a fourth win this season despite having to carry 135lb from barrier four.
“He's been incredibly consistent all season, he's performed when we've wanted him to. Obviously, he's got to carry the weight this time, up in distance a little bit but he'll put himself in the right spot, give himself a chance,” Purton said.
Referring to the 100-rater's last-start effort to catch Flaming Rabbit on May 21 after conceding the runaway leader almost five lengths at the 800m, Purton said: “He did a good job, there was no fluke in what he did – he did a good job, he had to man up and he did that, he was strong to the line and hopefully that helps us in this race.”
Purton partnered Tuchel in a quiet 1200m trial at Sha Tin on June 2 and believes the John Size-trained four-year-old is primed for another strong performance.
“John likes to trial his horses between races, he felt like this horse needed it and he trialled well.”
With 149 wins for the season, Purton needs a further 21 victories to equal Joao Moreira's mark for the most wins in a single Hong Kong season and the five-time Hong Kong champion jockey has nine rides tomorrow.
“He's an improving horse, he's doing everything right,” the Mauritian said. “Of course, last time he had to do it the hard way (leading all the way) but he fought on nicely for a nice win. It was very impressive – when the second horse came next to him, he really fought.
“The only question mark this time is (barrier) 10, but he's got some nice speed out of the gates so he can get himself into a good position and he should run well again. This horse has shown us a lot and he's improving all the time.”
Compiling another excellent season, Ricky Yiu hopes Round The Globe and Cheery, who both return to racing this weekend, can add to his stable's 51 winners for the campaign so far.
Round The Globe contests the Class 4 Hong Kong Riding For The Disabled Association Cup Handicap (1200m) under Alexis Badel.
“Considering he's only a three-year-old and with a much better draw (barrier two), I think it will help,” Yiu said. “I gave him a short break in Conghua and he was ever so happy, so we expect him to perform again.
“He's a lightly-raced and he's a nice horse. He's progressive.”
A dual Class 4 winner, Cheery resumes in his first competitive appearance since winning over this course and distance on December 18, 2022.
“Unfortunately, he bled in a trial (on 17 January) so we sent him back to Conghua and he built up a lot and he looks like a different horse. This long break will do him well and he's had a couple of trials so I'm starting him at the mile – a distance he enjoys,” Yiu said.
“It was good for the horse to have a break. I've always believed in this horse – he will definitely win a Class 3 race.”
A total prize of HK$68 million will be offered for the twilight race meeting at Sha Tin on Saturday (June 10) as both the Triple Trio and the first Double Trio will carry jackpots in addition to the Quartet and First 4 Merged Pool jackpot top up.