Champion jockey Joao Moreira will miss the Centenary Vase card at Sha Tin on Saturday to have himself 100 per cent fit for the auspicious Lunar New Year race day on Wednesday.
Moreira was dislodged from Funny Fortune at the top of the Happy Valley straight in the opening race on Wednesday and a number of runners went over him as he was bowled along the turf.
The Magic Man was cleared of serious injury and declared for nine rides at Sha Tin on Saturday but has elected to stand down rather than fail to do himself and his mounts justice.
“Unfortunately, I am still too sore. If I force myself to ride, I won’t ride well,” he said this morning. “I feel like I went a round with Mike Tyson, at his very best! I didn’t get stepped on but I got kicked everywhere, my legs, my back, my arms. Better that I don’t ride on Saturday and I am quite confident that I will be one hundred per cent for Wednesday.”
Licensing secretary Steve Railton said that replacement riders would be forthcoming before betting opened on the Saturday card.
READ MORE: Champion jockey Joao Moreira lucky to escape injury after horror fall in Happy Valley opener
“We asked Corey Brown to come from Singapore and be on standby to help with numbers and I think he already has three rides on Saturday and he tells me he has eight for the Lunar New Year meeting,” Railton said.