Joao Moreira was the last jockey to be beaten on Winx way back in 2015 but he will be trying to break the mighty mare’s win streak – and silence his doubters Down Under – when he rides Irish raider Success Days in the Group One Queen Elizabeth Stakes at Randwick on April 14.
Moreira was rolled on Winx when she was favourite in the 2015 Australian Oaks at the same track and since then Chris Waller’s mare has rattled off 24 straight victories, 17 of them at Group One level.
The Brazilian’s statistics in Australia on recent trips have been poor, particularly in Sydney, where he was lambasted for his efforts at a rain-affected 2015 carnival and again criticised during last year’s spring.
The negative chatter didn’t stop Hong Kong-based Singaporean owner Robert Ng Che Siong and trainer Ken Condon from securing the Brazilian’s services and they hope the Magic Man’s touch can make the difference against Australia’s greatest racehorse.
“We are obviously very pleased that he has accepted, it is nice to have a world class jockey,” Ng’s racing manager Rupert Pritchard-Gordon said. “It’s obviously a huge task taking on Winx but it’s a race worth a lot of money and we think it is worth a shot.”
The booking means that Moreira has been able to scout for other rides on the card and he has secured the sit on Japanese stayer Prestwick in the A$2 million Group One Sydney Cup.
Success Days arrived in Sydney on Saturday and will be stabled at Canterbury with Prestwick and the other overseas visitors.
Irish galloper Success Days is getting used to the Canterbury quarantine centre after arriving in Sydney on Saturday. ☘️ pic.twitter.com/Zvt6oLNq6Z— The Championships (@ChampionshipsRR) March 25, 2018
The six-year-old hasn’t run since two tired efforts in the Irish Champions Stakes and Champions Stakes at Ascot, but the last-placed finishes came at the end of a long five-year-old campaign that saw the grey capture the Group Two York Stakes.
“He has had a break and he has shown previously that he is capable of running some very good figures fresh,” Pritchard-Gordon said. “He has been trained up accordingly and had he been at home he would have been trained for a race at home at around the same time.”
Wet weather has played havoc with The Championships previously and a downpour “certainly wouldn’t hurt” Success Days chances.
“He handles good going as well, but if it is soft it doesn’t bother him and it might hinder his rivals. He doesn’t want a road,” he said. “So he handles most going, he can lead or sit just off the speed if they want to go too fast and provided he has travelled well it will just come down to whether or not he is good enough.”