Joao Moreira insists rumours linking him with the number one job at Godolphin Australia are purely speculative but the superstar says he would consider the lucrative role if it is offered to him.
Since taking Hong Kong by storm after arriving from Singapore in late 2013, Moreira has won more than 450 races and run away with two record-breaking jockeys’ championships that have seen him become one of the highest-earning jockeys in the history of racing.
With James McDonald standing down from the role as retained rider to Godolphin Australia in the midst of an investigation into alleged betting activity by the New Zealander, Moreira’s name has been floated as a possible long-term replacement.
On Saturday, Moreira clarified reports in the Australian media that quoting him as saying “I will end up in Australia one day but when I can’t say” by stating, “I’ve been saying that for years, and I haven’t changed my position, as one day I feel I will spend some more time there.”
“But I am not saying I am definitely going, I am not saying I am moving and I am not saying I have been offered a job,” he added.
“There is a rumour going around that I have been offered the job at Godolphin, and it simply isn’t true, I haven’t had a phone call. Look, if they do call one day, I will listen, but there is a lot to consider and I would need to speak to my family first.”
Godolphin have called on English-based jockey James Doyle to replace McDonald in the short term, but he is expected to return to England when the European flat season hots up in May.
Moreira hasn’t ridden in Godolphin’s blue silks since he was replaced by Doyle before the 2015 Cox Plate after being initially booked to ride Complacent.
Leading Sydney trainer Chris Waller has been a big supporter of Moreira over the past three years, flying the lightweight jockey in for Group One rides.
Despite the apparent interest from Australia’s biggest stables, and Moreira’s open-minded attitude to his future, he reassured supporters in Hong Kong that he is content with his current situation.
“I am happy to be in Hong Kong, and my plan for the time being is to stay here,” he said. “I am not looking to change, and I have got no reason to change and move anywhere else, given the success I am having at the moment.”