John Moore’s five-decade career in Hong Kong will come to an end in 10 days’ time but the handler hammered home a hat-trick of wins at Sha Tin on Sunday (5 July) to show that he’s not winding down just yet.
Sunny Boy set the ball rolling with an all-the-way win under Zac Purton; So We Joy easily broke his maiden for Joao Moreira; and Purton delivered Awe with a sweetly-timed run to complete a race-to-race-to-race three-timer for Hong Kong’s most successful trainer of all time.
“I’m really pleased with that – three winners,” Moore said after taking his tally to 56 for the term. “We had a target of 50 to 55 winners and we’ve surpassed that so it’s been a really good season after what we did with 75 winners last season.”
Moore, 70, will depart for Sydney and a training partnership with his brother Gary Moore at Rosehill, having reached the Hong Kong Jockey Club’s compulsory retirement age.
“It’s got to be emotional because I’ve spent so much of my life in Hong Kong, but my wife is Chinese, our home is here, and while we’ll be in Australia for a lot of the time, I’ll be back here very often. I think I’ll keep my Diamond Membership with Cathay!” he said.
Awe’s success in the Class 3 Tolo Harbour Handicap (1400m) wrapped up trios for Moore and jockeys’ championship leader Purton, who galvanized the British import through a late surge.
“It looked at the 200 (metres) that he was going to go up and down in the one spot but when Zac got into him he changed gears and hit the line very nicely. He’s a horse with a future now, ridden that way, and I hear he’s going to David Hayes so he’s got a nice horse there,” Moore said.