Superstar jockey Joao Moreira is heading into Hong Kong’s biggest week of racing in red-hot form after recording his fourth treble in a row at Happy Valley on Wednesday night.
The Magic Man has been in sterling touch this season and kept it rolling as he guided Ready Conqueror, Champ Patrol and Kinda Cool to victory, bringing his overall tally to 48 – 20 in front of his nearest rival Zac Purton.
His form is so good, we’re going to have to come up with new terms to describe it.
In basketball parlance a triple-double is when a player secures double-digit stats in three different categories, so maybe trebles in four consecutive meetings should be known as a quadruple-treble or quadruple-triple?
In any case, Moreira is on fire and feeling good ahead of next week’s International Jockeys’ Championship and Longines Hong Kong International Races.
“I know I’m in a good rhythm and I just hope I can keep it up,” he said. “It’s what any jockey dreams of – when you have confidence things are likely to fall into place.
“The circumstances are helping, the confidence I have back in myself is contributing but the main point is just the support I’ve been getting from many different trainers.
“There are two big meetings coming up. We are all very scared about what is going on around the world with Covid-19, particularly here [in Hong Kong], but we just have to put our head down, be very responsible and hopefully we get to the big day and put on a good show.”
The Brazilian’s wins came in consecutive races, beginning with Me Tsui Yu-sak’s Ready Conqueror in the third event, continuing aboard the Caspar Fownes-trained Champ Patrol in the fourth and finishing up with Kinda Cool from the Frankie Lor Fu-chuen stable.
Moreira makes it three!— HKJC Racing (@HKJC_Racing) December 2, 2020
The 'Magic Man' is putting on a show and he bags a running treble as Kinda Cool scores a soft win. ♂️ #HKracing pic.twitter.com/2I7FkIqRBu
The latter was perhaps indicative of the season so far – Purton was aboard his first two starts of the campaign but failed to fill the placings as favourite.
But with the Australian suspended, Moreira jumped aboard and, aided by the addition of blinkers and barrier one, got the job done.
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“Blinkers on and the draw – they helped,” Lor said. “The last two times he had seven and 12 but this time he had one and made it a lot easier for him.
“I think he should be able to make the step-up to Class Three – he’ll only have a light weight.”
The longest-priced winner on the card was Danny Shum Chap-shing’s Handsome Bo Bo, who impressed in his first start for his new stable by running over the top of his rivals in the Class Three Fleming Handicap (1,000m).
The six-year-old was having his first start in six months after recovering from a stress fracture and looked terrific, with Blake Shinn lifting him home at $31.
.@blake_shinn guides Handsome Bo Bo to his first win since early 2018, overhauling We The South to deny a Moreira four-timer. #HKracing pic.twitter.com/lKX0kDqChD— HKJC Racing (@HKJC_Racing) December 2, 2020
“When he transferred into my stable I thought there was something wrong but we couldn’t see anything. I asked the vet to do an MRI and they found a stress fracture. So I gave him four months and made sure he was sound and brought him back slowly,” Shum said.
“I thought he had some chance here, but of course I wasn’t confident – he hadn’t raced for six months.
“But this race had a lot of fast horses so I asked Blake to give him a chance and he finished off really well. I think the horse has ability – he may surprise a few people.”
Handsome Bo Bo completed a double for Shum, who also combined with Alexis Badel to claim the opening race with Dynamic Eagle.
7⃣0⃣0⃣ Hong Kong wins!— HKJC Racing (@HKJC_Racing) December 2, 2020
Le Terroir grabs the finale under @Vincenthocy to give trainer Francis Lui the milestone win. #HKracing pic.twitter.com/7diLmqCq9Q
In-form trainer Francis Lui Kin-wai celebrated his 700th winner when Le Terroir (Vincent Ho Chak-yiu) prevailed in the nightcap, Peter Ho Leung collected his fifth victory of the term when Wonder Win (Derek Leung Ka-chun) took out the second event while the other galloper to salute on the night was the Dennis Yip Chor-hong-trained Murray’s Partners (Karis Teetan).