Joao Moreira is hoping everything falls right for Beauty Legacy in the G3 Lion Rock Trophy Handicap (1600m) this Sunday (31 May) at Sha Tin as the three-time champion looks to peg back Zac Purton in the jockeys’ championship.
Moreira sits three wins behind Purton on (126-123) after the Australian ace bagged a midweek treble at Sha Tin in the Brazilian’s absence. But Moreira returns from that one-meeting suspension with a full book of 11 rides to his rival’s nine.
“Zac has the head start – I’m sure he’s very happy to be up there but I’m not giving up, I’m trying my best and if I’m the one to be crowned the winner, then I will have done enough to deserve it and there’s no doubt it is in the back of my mind,” Moreira said.
Purton does not have a mount in the afternoon’s feature in which Moreira sides with Beauty Legacy.
The frustrating but clearly talented Australian import won impressively first-up and took his chance in the Four-Year-Old Classic Series earlier this season but raced keenly at times, hindering his chances of winning.
“He’s getting there, he hasn’t been perfect and he hasn’t done things the way we would love him to do but each race he has improved and how much he has improved from his last start we’re going to need to wait till the weekend to find out, but he’s giving me the confidence that he’s stepping forward,” Moreira said.
The John Size trainee steps out for his seventh Hong Kong start and will break from gate two with the lightweight 113lb on his back. The four-year-old raced pre-import for David Hayes as the G1-placed Hawkshot.
“It’s taken a little bit of time for him to figure out what the races are all about and to get him to do things right, but he’s been doing things positively so we should be happy with that,” Moreira said.