Joao Moreira not only came away from another Australian trip empty-handed but with a careless riding suspension that means the Brazilian will miss the next two meetings.
Stewards took exception to Moreira’s riding aboard Seababe at the 600m mark in the third race at Caulfield and the leading jockey opted to take the suspension after Sunday’s Sha Tin meeting.
Moreira, who finished 12th in the Caulfield Cup on Wicklow Brave and was placed on just one of seven rides on the day, misses the meetings at Happy Valley on Wednesday and next Sunday.
The leading jockey was forgiving of Wicklow Brave’s effort.
“His reaction was a little bit slow out of the gates and that made it a little bit harder for him because I was giving a head start to the others,” Moreira said. “He was still able to get on the fence and save ground. Unfortunately I got a little bit of interference at the 600m which cost him places.”
Chad Schofield was also unplaced in the Caulfield Cup and left with a ban for his ride in the race.
Schofield finished ninth on Harlem and stewards pinged the lightweight rider for shifting out carelessly in the straight.
BOOM! BOOM TIME causes a HUGE upset in the BMW Caulfield Cup! pic.twitter.com/Pe3Jp4o5XM— Racing.com (@Racing) October 21, 2017
Most of Schofield’s “10-meeting” ban can be served concurrently with an upcoming suspension, meaning he will miss Wednesday’s fixture at Happy Valley before beginning his existing two-day penalty.
Moreira leads betting for the Jockey Challenge as a long odds-on favourite, with a ride in all 10 races today at Sha Tin.
Six of Moreira’s rides were at the top of betting in early markets and his day ends with stand-out four-year-old Nothingilikemore in a 1,400m Class Two.
Of the outsiders in Jockey Challenge betting, perhaps Derek Leung Ka-chun is worth consideration, with the leading freelance rider making a case for his ride in the opening race, Ray’s Choice, and hopeful of upsets in the two Group Two features.
“His morning work has been good and maybe this is too short for him but the draw well help, I think he can go close. He is only a Class Four horse but with that one run behind him he should improve a lot,” Leung said.
Leung pinched a Group Three win on Beauty Generation last time out and will again be an outsider in betting in the Group Two Oriental Watch Sha Tin Trophy.
The John Moore-trained five-year-old rolled to the front last start in the Celebration Cup and the change of tactics unlocked new options for the former stayer.
“We will be positive, let’s see what John wants me to do but we know we can be handy. He is a straightforward horse and easy to ride,” Leung said.
“I don’t ride him in the morning, but after that first run he will have improved for this. He will be better over 1,600m than 1,400m as well. He gets into this race pretty well at the weights, he only has 118 pounds on his back.”
Strathmore has promised much throughout his career but the well-bred six-year-old has failed to deliver for the most part.
On Tuesday morning, Strathmore again stunned track watchers with a sensational gallop on the course proper, getting home in 21.4 seconds, but with his best work coming in the last 200m.
“If he is going to do something against these types of horses, this is his chance with a light weight,” Leung said. “He has that advantage at the handicaps.”