REIGNING champion jockey Joao Moreira made a quiet start to the current campaign at Sha Tin over the weekend, having to wait until the finale, aboard Californiadeepshot, to get on the scoresheet.
It can only be a matter of time however, before Moreira starts weaving his magic wand again and sending his many thousands of adoring fans home with fistfuls of dollars in their pockets.
With a strong book of rides in all eight races at the inner-city track – Shanghai Power in the opening Big Wave Bay Handicap (12.15pm) over five furlongs and consistent Zhan Jiang Rocks in the Deep Water Bay Handicap (1.15pm) over the extended mile, catch the eye – the Brazilian will be hopeful of bouncing back into form.
His best chance of success may be when he teams up with trainer Tony Millard aboard RESOLUTE, who bids to follow-up a course and distance victory in July.
The combination of Millard and Moreira have proved a winning formula for punters in the past, and an inside draw gives the five-year-old a decided advantage over his main rivals in the Repulse Bay Handicap (3.20pm).
Although better known for his successful all-weather exploits in the past, this son of Per Incanto landed a hefty gamble with the minimum of fuss on the final day of last season, and even with a penalty looks better than his present mark.
Well-handicapped Wild West Wing and fast-starting Trader from the in-form David Hayes yard look the obvious threats on form.
Resolute 3.20pm Happy Valley