John Size had a two-win lead over John Moore going into Hong Kong’s 2018/19 season finale at Sha Tin this afternoon (Sunday, 14 July). When the last horse crossed the line 11 races later, that advantage had extended to three and an 11th premiership was his.
The Australian ended the day with 78 wins to Moore’s 75, outpointing his rival two to one on the day. His double started with Monkey Jewellery in race four and the championship was wrapped up with Aerohappiness’s victory in the seventh.
“It’s a big relief when you win,” Size said after he had matched Moore’s father George Moore’s record of 11 championships. “It’s difficult, it’s not that easy, so you just have to put your head down and keep going – do your best for every individual in the stable and you might come up with a championship.”
The handler, who turned 65 on Wednesday, acknowledged the effort and commitment of his stable staff.
“You can’t put a price on morale, so when you’re winning it helps everybody, it helps the whole stable. My team has been with me for many years so they know what’s involved, they know that if they keep going it will probably work out well,” he said.
Moore had predicted in the lead-up to today that the battle would “go to the wire”. Size had pointed to the fact that a couple of Moore wins early on the card would “make it difficult”.
Moore struck in the opener. Size’s advantage was cut to one when Above landed the Class 5 Medic Kingdom Handicap (1800m). The fight was on, it seemed.