Armed with an imposing full book of rides at the Lucky Start Raceday on Saturday (1 January) at Sha Tin, Joao Moreira is intent on building a decisive lead in the jockeys’ championship as he prepares to partner Excellent Proposal and Master Eight in the meeting’s G3 features.
Shading injured Zac Purton 51-49 in the championship race, Moreira will aim to add the G3 Chinese Club Challenge Cup Handicap (1400m) and the G3 Bauhinia Sprint Trophy Handicap (1000m), respectively, with John Size’s Excellent Proposal and Frankie Lor’s Master Eight.
In the saddle for each of Master Eight’s four successive victories, Moreira is confident the precocious sprinter can continue his winning spree in the HK$3.7 million contest.
“So far, he hasn’t done anything wrong and he’s proving to be a good horse. I just hope that he can keep repeating what he’s been doing – which is winning,” said the Brazilian, who was aboard the speedster during an emphatic triumph in a quality Class 2 contest over the 1000m course on 21 November.
“He didn’t begin very well. He can jump better than what he did last time. He was probably not sitting well in the gate, but he still managed to get himself with them.
“He was travelling very comfortably even though it was the first time he was running over the straight line. When I did ask him at the finish, he just ran away. I don’t think I see him doing anything differently from the past – he will just keep hitting the line very strongly.
“The horse is in great shape. His condition is very good. I really hope he can continue to hold that form and I believe he’s going to be very competitive.”