Monday, 6 February 2012
: Leading jockey Joao Moreira racking up wins by the spades is nothing uncommon these days, but the yawning gap by which his 30th 2012 winner, Totality, scored in the second race on Sunday was something even the Brazilian is not accustomed to.
Photo by Singapore Turf Club
The two-time champion jockey said that from memory he had never won a race by more than 10 lengths at his previous 367 Kranji wins, and as a rule he preferred not to score by such margins.
But he said that it was only when he realised the Michael Clements-trained gelding was so far ahead at the 300m mark after he took a peek over his shoulders that he stopped riding his mount out.
“It's the first time I've won by such a big margin here,” said Moreira. “I had no idea we were so far in front.
“The moment I came back, I told Michael he had a very special horse here.
“The horse jumped okay and was always travelling on the bit. I was happy to take a sit after the other horse went past as I wanted to teach him to settle a bit as he's still very young and green.
“It's not often you see a young horse like him win by more than 10 lengths. I think he will get even better over a bit further and from the way he won today, he showed he had a lot of ability.
“It wasn't 100% firm out there and he still ran a nice time. If the track had been firmer, he could have run an even better time.
“Credit to Michael for backing him up one week after he raced last Sunday. Some people were concerned about that, but obviously Michael knew the horse would be okay and could take it.
“The fact he won by more than 10 lengths certainly proves that.”
Clements admitted he was a little taken by surprise by the big space the Danroad
three-year-old scored by, but he did let in that he had been expecting a similar rout at some of his previous eight starts, especially as a two-year-old.
“He's always shown consistency and loads of ability as a two-year-old,” said Clements. “He even raced at Group level in the Aushorse Golden Horseshoe (Group 2) and didn't do too badly.
“But he's also a big, strong, powerful horse who tended to overrace at times and had a lot of bad luck as well.
“I'm glad he found the way to the winning post today. It was an expected win but I didn't think he would win so easily, though there were times when he should have won that way before.
“He has certainly gained in maturity and I hope the penny has finally dropped for him. I will be looking at the Singapore Three-Year-Old Challenge for him and he will definitely get the mile of the Singapore Guineas too.”
The Singapore Three-Year-Old Challenge comprises three Legs, namely the Singapore 3YO Sprint (1200m), which is held on March 30, the Singapore 3YO Classic (1400m) and the Singapore Guineas (1600m). Totality
was one of the best away in the $65,000 Restricted Maiden (2&3YO) race over 1400m, running up the fence to take the lead, but was passed by Starlite Shower
(Koh Teck Huat) further down the backstraight.
Moreira took a sit behind and waited for the top of the straight to throw their challenge. Totality
($5.3) went straight to the lead and immediately put in the big bounds to go and score by a space of 10 ¾ lengths from debutant Flying Ahead
(Opie Bosson) with Newfoundjoy
(Ivaldo Santana) third another four lengths away.
The winning time was 1min 23.11secs for the 1400m on the Long Course.
The Leticia Dragon-trained Qualitase
($11) made it a winning double for Moreira two races later. The Flying Spur
four-year-old scored by 1 ¼ lengths from Itiswhatitis
(Santana) with Lockdown
(Barend Vorster) third another half-a-length away. The winning time for the 1700m of the $55,000 Class 4 race was 1min 47.53secs.
Moreira has now extended his already commanding lead in the Singapore jockey's championship to 31 wins, a whopping 20 wins clear of Australian jockey Danny Beasley.