Champion jockey Joao Moreira’s Melbourne Cup day has ended early in pain and anti-climax after a fall rounding the home turn at Flemington on his first mount of the day, some two hours before the main event.
Moreira rode Highclere Thoroughbreds-owned Regal Monarch in the support staying race on the programme and gave the gelding a brilliant ride to the 600m before turning him outwards to start his finishing run.
But, as the 17-strong field fanned at the top of the straight, Moreira’s mount clipped the heels of a horse in front and crashed, throwing the jockey heavily to the ground.
The Brazilian was quickly surrounded by attendants and was able to stand after several minutes and walked unassisted to the ambulance but was clearly feeling the fall and limping.
On return to the jockeys’ room, however, Moreira was stood down from his remaining mounts, including Thomas Hobson in the Melbourne Cup.
Hong Kong Jockey Club officials have spoken to Moreira, who believes he will be able to take his engagements at Happy Valley on Wednesday night.
But chief steward Kim Kelly said that standby riders have already been organised as a precaution and the jockey will have to undergo a medical examination on his return to Hong Kong before he is passed to ride.