Moreira Bags Four at Sha Tin

Steve Bennett Steve Bennett
  • Moreira flys high with a four-bagger at Sha Tin
  • Another Jockey's Premiership is in his sights
Joao Moreira

 

Front-running jockey Joao Moreira landed four winners at Sha Tin on Sunday and now has his sights on another Hong Kong Jockey’s Premiership.

The Brazilian-born rider has extended his lead to nine with 69 winners to date while Zac Purton sits in second place, in hot pursuit of Moreira on 60.

Moreira had his four winners on the board by the end of race six bringing success to four different trainers in the process.

Joao Moreira rides four winners for the day at Sha Tin

Victories came for Tony Cruz, Me Tsui, John Moore and Chris So spreading the joy around the track which Moreira sees as a positive step for the industry.

“You have to try and ride for as many different trainers as possible and the numbers I have got for different trainers today proves I have been able to do that,” he said.

After riding five winners on International Day, Moreira lost his way a little as it took another six meetings to bring up another five winners.

“It’s nice to bounce back as I was questioned why I wasn’t winning as many races as I did at the international meeting,” he said.

“I wasn’t doing my job properly and I knew I should work harder. Fortunately today has shown what is possible if I concentrate a little bit more.”

The celebrations for the ‘Magic Man’ were dampened somewhat after he received a two-meeting suspension for careless riding after shifting in on This One’s For You in the straight. He will begin the suspension on February 26.

This will give Zac Purton a small window for him to close the gap in the Jockey’s Premiership.

Moreira, who holds the record for the most winners in a (HK) season (171 in season 2016/17), stated that his focus is solely on regaining the Premiership crown currently held by Purton.

While it is unlikely he will surpass that record this season, he believes he is riding at his very best and is a big chance of taking out this year’s prestigious title.

“I won’t ride more winners than I used to ride in the past. I’m riding as well but I just haven’t been able to grab rides with as much quality as I did in the past,” Moreira said.

“I’m not complaining, it’s just that some new jockeys have turned up and made the competition stronger, which is obviously very good for the sport.

“At the end of the day I’m extremely happy with the numbers I’ve had lately.

“I don’t have a specific number, I just hope to ride enough winners to be on top of the board at the end of the season.

“That’s my goal and it doesn’t matter how many, if I ride 150 or 110 and cross the line one win ahead I will be extremely happy.

“Fortunately I’m in the prime position but I can’t fall asleep otherwise I won’t be there any more.”

 

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