The Joao Moreira juggernaut continues at top speed after the Brazilian capped a momentous three-meeting burst with a four-timer at Happy Valley on Wednesday night (22 December) to be on the cusp of overtaking injured Zac Purton at the head of the Hong Kong jockeys’ championship.
With a quartet, treble and double at the past three meetings, Moreira has slashed a 10-win deficit to fellow four-time champion Purton to one. Still leading 49-48, Purton is not expected to return to race riding until early next month after suffering fractures in a race fall at Sha Tin on 12 December.
Moreira prevailed on Benno Yung’s Happy Jai Jai, Tony Millard-trained Above, Dr Winning for Size and, in a farewell triumph for David Ferraris, on Here Comes Ted in the second section of the Class 3 Java Handicap (1200m).
The Brazilian was elated to be in the plate for Ferraris’ final Hong Kong victory after the South African decided to relinquish his trainers’ licence.
“I’m very proud of riding his last winner in Hong Kong. I know that means a lot to David, who has been a great add to the sport,” Moreira said. “It’s a shame that we see him going, but wherever he goes, we gonna remember him for what he’s done good here, which is plenty.”
Ferraris departs with 461 wins since joining Hong Kong’s ranks in 2003/04.