Joao Moreira signed off a truly unique year in style at Sha Tin on Saturday, booting home a four-timer before turning his attention to 2021.
Moreira saluted aboard impressive debutant Sight Success, as well as Above, Green Envy and Double Take, to complete the calendar year with 147 winners, six more than rival Zac Purton.
“It’s a very nice way to finish it off,” Moreira said. “My goals for the new year are to keep up the good rhythm and hope we find some new champions.”
That “rhythm” saw Moreira snare 15 victories in December alone and he now has 60 winners for the season after just 33 meetings, with the Brazilian saying it is the work he’s been putting in away from race day that is driving his success.
“I’ve been getting support and I have to make good use of the quality of rides I have been getting,” the Magic Man said.
“More important than what I do on the track is what I do off it. I’ve got good relationships with trainers that can see I’m very keen to do well this season and I’m glad they’re willing to support me.”
Moreira was on fire early on Saturday’s card, taking out the opener aboard Above before reeling off a running double in races three and four with Green Envy and Sight Success and completing his work in the sixth event with Double Take.
It was $1.80 favourite Sight Success’ win that was most eye-catching, with the John Size-trained four-year-old doing it with relative ease in the Class Four Pak Tam Chung Handicap (1,200m).
“He’s a very promising horse, very few horses do what he did today,” Moreira said. “I was quite confident that he would win the race. It’s hard to predict where he will get to but there are plenty of ratings points in him, that is for sure.”
After jumping from the widest alley, Sight Success travelled three-wide with cover and had plenty to give in the straight, letting down beautifully to take control in the final 300m.
“He looked like he was going to win his first start from when I started to trial him,” Size said of Sight Success, who won four trials in the lead-up to his debut.
“He’s done the job that he was supposed to do and you can’t ask for any more than that. It looks like he’ll win some more races.
“Drawing the outside is always some concern but he’s had plenty of practice so we were hoping to overcome it.
“He’s only had one start so he’s still immature and inexperienced and we’ll see how he develops as we race him. Racing is going to determine how much quality he’s got. Normally you find out pretty quickly.”
Size completed a double in the final race on the card, with Juneau Park returning to the winner’s circle after a nine-month absence with victory in the Class Three Luk Wu Handicap (1,400m) under the classy Alexis Badel.