Joao Moreira bagged an improbable four-timer at Happy Valley tonight (Wednesday, 29 May), his second in as many meetings.
Moreira had been a doubt to even make it to the track, but having shrugged off sickness, the Magic Man made hay. He even turned miracle worker in the finale, the Class 3 Tan Shan River Handicap (1200m), driving the outpaced Waldorf from detached tail-ender to charging victor.
“I thought we had no chance,” he said. “I was pushing him all the way through, riding him for luck in the hope that he might finish off, and there was a point in the race where I really thought he was gone – I was pushing and pushing. But when we approached the 600 metres he closed up and I could see that they were going fast in front.
“When we turned for home and I gave him two whacks, whoosh! I knew then, if he had no interruption, I was going to win.”
The Tony Cruz-trained top-weight completed a hat-trick of wins, charging through the line a neck in front of the field on ground rated good.
“I didn’t think I was going to win four races,” Moreira continued. “I got a virus and I had a fever yesterday and the day before. I had a lot of headache and doubted that I would make it but the doctor looking after me did a good job and got me well enough to ride today.” Moreira said.