Friday, 20 July 2012
: By his own admission two-time champion jockey Joao Moreira is having an “unbelievable” season.
| Joao Moreira riding Chase Me to Singapore Derby Success|
Photo by Singapore Turf Club
Already this year, Moreira, into his fourth season of racing in Singapore, has won an incredible 114 races which places him 70 winners ahead of his nearest opponent Danny Beasley.
Beasley himself is happy with his current form citing 2012 as already being a better year than 2011 when he greeted the judge on just 42 occasions.
Moreira is well ahead of target to account for his record breaking tally of 153 captured last year in landing his second Jockey's Premiership after riding 116 winners in his first premiership victory the year before.
This year Moreira seems as though he could win on the proverbial “broomstick” such is his domination. He has a strike-rate of 32.11%, or a winner at close to one in every three rides.
Importantly for Moreira this year he has been a regular visitor to the winner's circle in feature races.
Last Sunday he captured both feature events – the Group 3 Paititi Gold Trophy with Super Easy
and the 'biggie' – the Group 1 Emirates Singapore Derby.
Prior to Sunday's Derby success on Chase Me
, Moreira had just two Group 1 victories under his belt since debuting in Singapore in 2009.
He won the Patron's Bowl in 2010 with Intercept and this year's Singapore Guineas with Super Easy, one of five Group races the Michael Freedman-trained three-year-old has provided Moreira in 2012.
Moreira, who only returned from Brazil last week following a holiday, was in sparkling form. He rode two bags of five winners – Friday and Sunday – including the two feature races.
But during the week Moreira revealed he came close to being a scratching from Sunday's meeting when he awoke early with a fever and feeling sore all over.
“It's unusual for me to wake up early on Sunday mornings as I like to rest before a big day,” said Moreira. “But on Sunday I woke up at 5am with a fever and my body was sore all over.
“I had some panadol and luckily I was able to get back to sleep. When I woke up again I went for a walk and got out in the fresh air.
“I was able to clear the head and get the body right and I made the decision then that I would be right to ride.
“Luckily I didn't take any light rides on the day as that would have weakened me.”
Eating is never a problem for Moreira but he “doesn't take a meal on race day, only coffee to wake me up”.
“A jockey's life is very tough,” said Moreira. “I can pretty much eat whatever I want but I don't have very big portions.
“Closer to raceday I slow down my eating. I might go to the sauna if I have a light ride but I do quite a bit of exercise.
“I may swim or run, but I enjoy cycling with my son Miguel. He keeps me very active.”
Moreira said his “unbelievable” success this year has made him work even harder as he strives to ride more winners.
“I am motivated to keep improving and to keep going forward,” said Moreira. “I do a lot of study and am always looking for that next good horse.
“A lot of trainers are saying 'yes' when I ring them for a ride and I am the lucky one getting on top of some very good horses.”
With two Group 1 victories added to his resume this year, Moreira would love to add an International Group 1 to his record.
And he believes Super Easy – unbeaten in 11 starts in Singapore – could just be the galloper to do so.
“He's the best horse that I have ridden and I believe he is capable of winning an International Group 1 race,” said Moreira.
“He may not be as good as Black Caviar
(unbeaten in 22 starts) but he is a very, very good horse and I have been associated with some very good horses in my time.
“Good horses make a jockey's job a lot easier.”
Moreira will be in action again on Friday and Sunday. He has a full book of 10 rides on Friday night plus rides in 10 of the 12 races on Sunday.