In-form Moreira ready for Valley return

Joao Moreira
Joao Moreira’s hungry for more.

Joao Moreira bagged three winners on Sunday at Sha Tin and with a full book of rides this Wednesday, at Happy Valley, the Brazilian ace isn’t ready to rest on his laurels.

“I’m really happy, the winners have started to pop up and hopefully we can continue on,” Moreira said.

The three-time champion jockey closes his evening with the ride on the Tony Cruz-trained Smart Leader (124lb) in the Class 3 Chung Hom Kok Handicap (1200m).

“He felt great, he felt ready to go to the races and I’m looking forward to riding him,” Moreira said.

Smart Leader hit his straps late last season, springing into the fold after appearing 15 times for five minor placings and no wins.

“Having a break as a horse – he will have appreciated that,” the rider said.

Moreira isn’t predicting them to dawdle in Wednesday’s finale and the 36-year-old remains upbeat about Smart Leader’s chances of breaking through.

“It’s a race that is going be such a fast-run race, usually the last race at Happy Valley is quite fast and if you look at this race in particular there are plenty of fast horses,” he added.