FORMER champion jockey Joao Moreira has been living in the shadows of Zac Purton recently.
However, it didn’t stop the Brazilian providing another masterclass of jockeyship at Sha Tin last Sunday when booting home four winners, including two by the narrowest of margins.
The ‘Magic Man’ is now on a roll with 69 winners, including 48 for trainer John Size, since he returned to Hong Kong back in December.
Moreira and Size team up with the hat-trick-seeking TRUE GRIT in the 3.15pm over the extended mile.
Supporters of True Grit, a red-hot favourite over course and distance a fortnight ago, would have been tearing their tickets up after the four-year-old got shuffled back into last place before turning into the short home straight.
Showing nerves of steel, Moreira suddenly conjured up a devastating finishing dash from the four-year-old – the fastest closing sectional time of any horse in the three races over the trip that afternoon – and drew clear in the latter stages.
This is a horse destined to race against better class in the future and, with a low draw a bonus, should complete a three-timer with the minimum of fuss.
Moreira also climbs aboard the Moore-trained SMART ROCKET who will be seeking to defy a 5lb penalty for a comfortable win over a mile on a soft surface at Sha Tin earlier this month.
The jockey will have to be at his magical best to overcome the outside draw in the 2.15pm, but this three-year-old looks highly progressive and is racing against some ordinary handicappers. With some luck, he will be hard to beat.
Smart Rocket 2.15pm Happy Valley
True Grit 3.15pm Happy Valley