Brazilian jockeys have made waves in Hong Kong in recent years and Ruan Maia is looking forward to rising to the challenge when his licence to ride in races commences this Sunday, 28 February at Sha Tin.
A two-time champion jockey in his first two seasons in Macau (2017/18 and 2018/19), Maia, who finished second in Singapore’s championship last season, stressed this morning (Thursday, 25 February) as he faced the press that his being here was the fulfilment of a long-held “dream”.
And, a blueprint set by three-time Hong Kong champion jockey Joao Moreira has helped the 32-year-old forge his way to the challenging cauldron of Hong Kong racing, via Macau, but just like Moreira having reaped instant success in Singapore.
“The plan was to get to Hong Kong – I have known Joao Moreira since he started his apprenticeship back in Brazil before he went to Singapore and came to Hong Kong, and this is what I am doing for me – I am very grateful for the opportunity that both Macau and Singapore gave me because now my dream has come true,” Maia said.
“To me Hong Kong racing is the best in the world and I’m just grateful for the opportunity – I will try my best and keep looking forward – I’m very excited,” he added.
Maia joins Moreira and fellow countryman Vagner Borges as the third Brazilian currently riding on the Hong Kong Jockey Club’s roster. He arrives with over 600 wins under his belt, including big-race successes in both Macau and Singapore, notably claiming the 2018 MAC G1 Macau Gold Cup (1800m) aboard River Control and the 2019 MAC G1 Chairman’s Challenge Cup (1200m) aboard Mister Kaopu.