Wednesday, 15 August 2012
: Leading Singapore jockey Joao Moreira can now boast Sweden as not just a new country he has ridden in, but also one where he has won a race – and a Listed race to boot.
| Joao Moreira|
Photo by Racing and Sports
After notching yet another treble at last Friday’s Kranji meeting, the Brazilian ace skipped last Sunday’s to answer the call of top Swedish owner Stefan Friborg (of Singapore Airlines International Cup winner Gloria De Campeao fame) to ride two of his horses at the Swedish Derby meeting at Jagersro, Malmo on the same day.
Unfortunately, Energia Eroi was withdrawn from the Derby (2400m), leaving Moreira with just the one ride, but the jockey with the Midas touch did not let his sole opportunity to shine in Sweden go begging.
A clear favourite in the Zawawi Cup, Swedish sprint star Verde Mar was right on the money for Moreira to fully vindicate the connections’ bold decision to bring the two-time Singapore champion all the way to Scandinavia for the flying visit.
Trained by another Brazilian, Fabricio Borges, Verde Mar came off a handy spot in the small five-horse field to score a one-length win from the 2010 victor Alcohuaz (Fredrik Johansson) to record his second consecutive win in the Zawawi Cup. German raider Govinda (Jozef Bojko) who led from the start finished third.
Verde Mar, a five-year-old son of Gilded Time, posted the winning time of 1min 11.5secs over the 1,200 metres on dirt, more than a second slower than the track record of 1min 10.4secs he set himself in the same event last year.
“It’s a great honour to ride at Jagersro," said Moreira to the Swedish press.
"It’s a great pleasure to be here and when my friend for many years, Fabricio Borges, rang and wondered if I wanted to come over, I did not think twice.
“Verde Mar is a very good horse and I think he won pretty easy today. He’s a fantastic horse in every way and he made my job easy.”
Borges was of course delighted with the Listed success, more so when it was forged with a reunited old firm.
“We have been friends for almost 15 years and Joao has had quite a brilliant career,” said Borges.
“I’m of course very happy it went well with Verde Mar. Unfortunately we had to withdraw Energia Eroi from the Derby.”
Moreira, who was approached by Friborg – his former boss when he rode in France in 2005 – and Borges for the Swedish trip only three weeks ago, returns to Singapore on Wednesday.