Another haul for Joao Moreira

Joao Moreira scores on the John Moore-trained Monica.

Joao Moreira grabbed his 31st Hong Kong four-timer, taking his tally at the top of the premiership to 69 and increasing his lead over rival Zac Purton to nine, with the season’s halfway point approaching fast.

Midway through his seventh season in Hong Kong, the ‘Magic Man’ has now bagged at least four wins in a day an incredible 52 times. That figure includes his local record of eight victories in one day.

The Brazilian was on fire from the programme’s start and made it three wins by race five when he edged trainer John Moore to within one of a 1,700th Hong Kong win, delivering the handler’s eye-candy grey gelding Monica (125lb) to a length and a quarter success over race favourite Super Elegance (122lb) in the Class 3 Daisy Handicap (1600m).

“I did see something in the papers about (1,700 wins) but I wasn’t really monitoring it, so it’ll be nice to get another win and leave a big number for other trainers in the future to chase. It’s a tough number – I’ve set the standard.”

“This is the first time we’ve tried the mile with this horse and Joao got off and said he’ll go further if we want to, but he’ll run on 23 February over a mile again and the ride will be offered to Joao again.”

Moreira had earlier taken his win strike rate for the Tony Cruz yard this term to 20 percent when he drove Supreme Witness late and wide to take the opener, section two of the Class 4 Orchid Handicap (1200m).

And he was on the board again two races later when Seize The Spirit swept from deep to take the Class 5 Rose Handicap (1400m). That was the rider’s second win for the Me Tsui stable this term at his 11th ride.

Moreira made it four in race six, the Class 4 Peony Handicap (1650m), aboard the Chris So-trained Foodie Princess. The three-time champion jockey had only four behind him with 500m to race but shifted wide and got a sweet tune from his mount to grind past his rivals and land the spoils by half a length.