Moreira chases second World All-Star Jockeys title
Hong Kong’s Champion Jockey Joao Moreira will tackle some of the world’s finest riders in Japan’s World All-Star Jockeys series at Sapporo Racecourse this weekend.
Moreira has represented Hong Kong at the annual jockeys’ challenge the last two years, taking the crown on debut in 2015 before finishing fifth 12 months ago, and the Brazilian ace is eyeing a second title.
The World All-Star Jockeys series comprises four races – three on turf, one on dirt – split evenly over two days - two on Saturday, 26 August and two on Sunday, 27 August. As well as shooting for individual honours, Moreira will be part of a team of six visiting riders alongside one jockey from Japan’s regional National Racing Association (NAR). They will take on seven of the leading hoops representing the Japan Racing Association (JRA).
Moreira is joined in Hokkaido by his countryman, the Canadian-based Eurico Da Silva, as well as Australian riders Kerrin McEvoy and Katelyn Mallyon, French jockey Anthony Crastus and UK-based Irishman Tom Queally. Shogo Nakano, representing the NAR, completes Team World All-Star (WAS).
Among those on Team JRA are European riders Mirco Demuro and Christophe Lemaire, both based full-time in Japan, as well as the legendary Yutaka Take.
The opening day features Moreira riding Shoichi Temma-trained Crown Iris in the first leg, a 1200m turf allowance, before he is legged up on Kiyoshi Tani’s Makeup – a winner during the World All-Star Jockeys series last year – in the second race, a 2000m turf affair.
Day two sees Moreira aboard the Katsumi Minai-trained Meisho Bach in the third leg, a 1700m dirt allowance, while in the closing leg – an 1800m turf event – he rides Admire Meteor for trainer Naosuke Sugai. In a non-competition leg earlier on Sunday’s card, he is set to partner Sugai’s G1 Sprinters Stakes (1200m) fourth Shuji in the G3 Keeneland Cup (1200m) ahead of a possible G1 LONGINES Hong Kong Sprint (1200m) campaign.
Moreira will be out to become the first Hong Kong-based rider to take the series twice. Douglas Whyte tied with Andreas Suborics in 2004 before twice finishing second, in 2008 and 2009, while Zac Purton claimed the title in 2012. The three-time Hong Kong champion rode seven winners at Sapporo Racecourse last weekend from 20 rides, taking his Japanese strike rate above 30 per cent.
List of jockeys participating in the 2017 World All-Star Jockeys