John Size is confident punters have not seen the last of Champion’s Way this season after the promising three-year-old continued his unbeaten run with a commanding win at Sha Tin on Sunday.
The horse has saluted four times from as many starts to begin his career and continues to answer whatever challenge is thrown at him on his march up the ratings.
“He got it done and that’s about all you can do. He had a heavy weight, a wide gate and he did a bit of work the first 300m and he still managed to kick on. He looks like a good horse, it was a good horse’s task that he had today and he completed it,” said Size, adding that, provided the horse pulls up well, he’ll look to make it five in a row sooner rather than later.
The beat goes on for unbeaten-in-four Champion's Way, who defies top weight and stall 12 to complete a quickfire Joao Moreira treble in R7 at Sha Tin. Class 2 beckons for John Size's highly progressive three-year-old. #HKracing pic.twitter.com/lSjvHi40md— HKJC Racing (@HKJC_Racing) March 31, 2019
“We’ll have a look, see what’s on and see how he does at home. He’s had four races as a three-year-old, in Hong Kong that’s a little bit tough, but he hasn’t shown me any sign of stress so I’ll see what he’s like after this race. If he’s OK we’ll go again.”
Joao Moreira was in the saddle, reuniting with Champion’s Way after missing his past two victories because of suspension, with Zac Purton and Regan Bayliss making hay in his absence.
Moreira was quickly away on Champion’s Way from barrier 12 before settling fourth in the run and flicking the switch in the straight to reel in the leaders.
Frankie Lor Fu-chuen’s Fat Turtle, who won his Hong Kong debut at Happy Valley on March 13, also impressed to finish within two lengths of the winner, while Ricky Yiu Poon-fai’s Alcari was a fast-finishing third.
Moreira landed a treble on the day for three different trainers, also winning on John Moore’s Champion Supreme in the Class Four Mirs Bay Handicap (1,800m) and Chris So Wai-yin’s Perfect Pair in the Class Four CUHK Alumni Cup (1,400m).
The hat-trick came from only eight rides, with Moreira and Zac Purton missing the opening two races after riding at the Dubai World Cup meeting on Saturday and returning to Hong Kong overnight.
No sign of Dubai jet lag from Joao Moreira, who completes a swift double by delivering Chris So's aptly-named Perfect Pair to foil Victory Power and My Winner in R6 at Sha Tin. #HKracing pic.twitter.com/e0QujQgdFU— HKJC Racing (@HKJC_Racing) March 31, 2019
It was somewhat of a return to form for Moreira, with the Brazilian’s prolific season slowing a touch of late.
He landed his first three-timer since February 7 and had ridden only five winners in the six weeks before Sunday, in part because of three separate suspensions that cost him six race meetings.
But he was also riding below the level that saw him return from Japan with a bang and rack up 41 winners in just over two months.
He now has 49 winners for the season and is still a chance to catch Karis Teetan (63) in second spot on the jockeys’ championship, although his contract as Size’s retained rider expires on June 9 and there has been no word as yet what will happen after that.