Joao Moreira will ride a pair of Japanese horses at this month’s Dubai World Cup meeting as he looks to continue his golden run of Group One success.
The Brazilian has confirmed he is booked to ride both Glory Vase (Sheema Classic) and Win Bright (Dubai Turf) along with Hong Kong’s own Elusive State in the Group Two Godolphin Mile worth US$1 million.
Both Glory Vase and Win Bright are well known to Hong Kong punters with the pair winning Group Ones at Sha Tin in December, taking out the Hong Kong Vase and Cup respectively.
While Moreira rode Glory Vase to victory in December, he will ride Win Bright for the first time in Dubai with regular jockey Masami Matsuoka out injured.
“His win in Hong Kong was very impressive. Anyone that is on him would be very confident that he would go to Dubai and be very competitive,” Moreira said of Glory Vase.
“We have to respect some of the other horses in the race because of the quality of the race itself, normally good horses come from all over the world.
“I am extremely happy to be aboard this guy, I really think he is capable, he could have another Group One win in him.”
Win Bright’s two Group One victories have come at Sha Tin, with the Yoshihiro Hatakeyama-trained galloper setting a new 2,000m track record in the process during last season’s QE II Cup romp.
Having performed well overseas, Moreira will take confidence into the race which is set to feature the likes of Japanese star Almond Eye who is aiming for back-to-back victories in Dubai.
“He has proven that he can travel and still perform at his best, usually this Dubai Turf is one of the strongest races on the card but no doubt Win Bright is one of those horses that is making it the strong race that it is,” he said.
“He has been very impressive in what he has done here in Hong Kong, he has come over and won twice. He didn’t win by big margins but he has won the biggest races we have got.”
Moreira, who has collected five of the eight Group Ones run in Hong Kong so far this season, won the Dubai Turf in 2017 on the Japanese galloper Vivlos.
After saluting on Elusive State in Class Two company earlier this season, Moreira said the much-improved galloper deserved his opportunity overseas.
Rated 106, the six-year-old has run out of dirt races in Hong Kong.
“He has been very consistent horse on the all-weather track in Hong Kong, he hasn’t run at a strong level yet but that’s not to say he won’t have a chance over there,” Moreira said.
“Where he was a couple of seasons ago to where he is now, we have to give him some respect for what he has done, he has climbed the ratings.”
Moreira returns from a week-long suspension at Happy Valley on Wednesday night where he has a full book of rides.
He will ride the John Size-trained Super Alliances who has been knocking on the door of a win all season with three minor placings.
“He is one of those that Size has in his stable that is an improving type,” he said.
“He is far off being at his best ratings-wise and his last start he was scratched because of a health issue but I am sure that John has him right and he is ready to go. He is a nice young horse with a bright future ahead of him.”
He also rides Danny Shum Chap-shing’s Smart Of Youth who has showed his ability in barrier trials but is yet to convert it into a race day victory.