Monday, 16 July 2012
: Runaway leading jockey Joao Moreira picked up where he left off when he returned to Kranji from a Brazilian holiday in smashing form with five winners on Friday night.
Photo by Singapore Turf Club
The two-time Singapore champion, who is on course for a third consecutive title and in a good position to smash the record of 153 wins he set last year, wasted no time in getting back in the swing of things when he opened proceedings in the first race with Fuku's Pet
($16) before saluting aboard Raleigh
($55) four races later and backing up in the next race with a pick-up ride, The Kathumpa
He then finished off with riding the favourites The Cinderella Man
($11) and Super Ready
($9) to victory to bring his tally to 109, a whopping margin of 66 wins ahead of second-placed Danny Beasley.
Moreira's overall tally could have been even higher had he not gone missing at the last three meetings and through a recent suspension when he was sidelined for another four meetings. But Moreira is not one to speculate on what could have been, and would rather attend to the task at hand – ride winners.
“It was good to be back home, but now I'm hungrier than ever,” said the Brazilian ace.
“Nothing like some winners to get you back in the winning frame. I was happy with all the winners, but particularly pleased I was able to win on Raleigh as I had to turn down the ride a few times before.
“I had a few options again in that race, but in the end I went for him, and I'm glad I made the right choice.
“I know it's a horse who's had a few problems, but he's shown his best tonight.
“The key to getting him to win was to give him a good warm-up before getting to the gates. That's what [stable supervisor] Gus [Clutterbuck] told me at the parade ring.
“That was why he broke so quickly. I had the opportunity to give him a breather from the back and that was why he got clear ahead of the rest at the top of the straight.
“He got a bit tired towards the end, but he did a good job to hold on.”
As is his customary post-race practice, Moreira did not fail to give thanks to the winning connections of Raleigh.
“I'd like to say thank you to the owner, Jayven See and the trainer Mark Walker for giving me the chance to ride this horse as I've never ridden him before,” he said.
“Like I said, I was not able to ride him before but they still offered me the ride and I'm very grateful for the trust they have in me.”
Clutterbuck said Raleigh, a five-year-old entire by O'Reilly
is a pure 1000m sprinter who had things his way this time round in the $75,000 Class 3 race over 1000m on Polytrack.
“He's a 1000m horse. He's had his problems but tonight, he jumped well and at the top of the straight, he just raced clear for a nice win,” said Walker's right-hand man.
Previously an up-and-coming three-year-old who had even raced at Group level, Raleigh went though a bit of a slump but seems to have now bounced back to better things.
This fifth success has brought his earnings close to the $290,000 mark for the Middle Kingdom Stable.
Moreira's hardest-fought win was probably on The Cinderella Man (x Pentire) who scraped home by a short head from the fast-finshing The Rude Warrior
(Azhar Ismail) in the $55,000 Class 4 race over 1700m on Polytrack.
It was a winning ride that earned a great deal of kudos from the winning connections.
"Joao used his initiative in getting going early when they were dawdling upfront," said trainer Laurie Laxon's stable supervisor Shane Ellis.
"That's what sets him apart from most of the other riders and you always know he's going to give them every opportunity."