Joao Moreira, winless on this day last year, made a roaring start to the 2020/2021 racing season with a winning treble at the opening meeting of the Hong Kong racing season at Sha Tin which also saw fierce riding rival Zac Purton, trainer John Size and his triumphantly returning contemporary David Hayes claim doubles.
Moreira, three times Hong Kong Champion Jockey, is used to red-letter days. This meeting did not provide another but a yield of three winners – including a heart-stopping victory on Excellent Proposal – was a more than satisfying day’s work for the Brazilian maestro.
It certainly did not rival his 2017/2018 season start when he rode the first five winners on day one – and it pales into insignificance compared to his eight-win one-day hauls achieved in Hong Kong, Singapore and Brazil – but it was a dramatic improvement on last year’s racing return when he had a rare winless afternoon with just two seconds from his ten rides.
Purton, four times champion and last season’s premier jockey by a margin of nine wins from Moreira, matched his 2019/2020 start with the two wins.
“I’m happy, it’s good to get on the board with three,” said Moreira who is certain to again make a strong bid to claim a fourth jockey’s premiership and thus match Purton’s premiership tally.