A FEW hints from father-in-law Jim Cassidy proved a godsend for Zac Purton as he returned to his old stamping ground with a rollicking front-running win on Strawberry Boy.
Purton is married to Cassidy’s daughter Nicole and he revealed how he rang ‘’the old fella’’ for some advice on how to ride the galloper owned by colourful larrikin John Singleton.
Cassidy, riding in Sydney, had previously ridden Strawberry Boy including in the gelding’s last-start sixth in the Scone Cup.
With Cassidy’s words ringing in his ears, former Brisbane boy Purton jetted in from Hong Kong to lead them a merry dance in the Lord Mayor’s Cup (1600m).
‘’The stable told me to give the old fella a call so that’s what I did,’’ Purton said.
‘’I spoke to Jimmy and he gave me his thoughts on how the horse likes to race. Strawberry Boy seems to be a pretty good horse. He ran along quick and just kept getting faster.’’
Strawberry Boy started his career with Gai Waterhouse who has had several bust-ups and make-ups with Singleton in the last few years.
Chris Waller now trains the galloper and quipped it was great how Purton ‘’kept it in the family’’ thanks to his relationship with Cassidy.
Waller paid tribute to Strawberry Boy who has followed the compass in plenty of different directions in the last fortnight.
‘’He has had a pretty big journey to get to Brisbane,’’ Waller said.
‘’He left Rosehill, went to Scone and raced, returned to Sydney and then came up to the Gold Coast and then onto Doomben.
‘’He has certainly been well travelled in recent times but he hasn’t taken any bad effects from that.
‘’I’m very fond of this horse because he tries hard and has to make the running himself. When he does it the right way, he is just too good for them.’’
Waller plans to leave Strawberry Boy in Queensland for the winter and pick out a suitable target.
The beaten brigade had no excuses and connections of the well-beaten local Hopfgarten were disappointed with the way he raced.