Moreira back on top with five-timer
The man they call 'Magic Man' has become the fourth jockey in Hong Kong history to reach 900 winners
You just can't keep a champion down. Just look at Joao Moreira.
For the first time this season, reigning champion Zac Purton overtook the three-time Hong Kong champion at Happy Valley last Wednesday by a winner with his double.
But, at Sha Tin on Sunday, Moreira was in his element, booting home five winners - to Purton's two - which put him back on top with the score at 94-92.
With his five-timer, Moreira has now become only the fourth jockey in Hong Kong history to reach 900 wins.
"I wasn't counting," the Brazilian ace said, after his fourth on the board, Picken, had sealed the milestone win.
Only the retired greats Douglas Whyte and Tony Cruz, and his brilliant championship rival Purton, have reached the 900 mark previously.
Moreira achieved it at his 4,094th ride at a win strike rate just shy of 22 per cent, in only his seventh Hong Kong season.
"It's a great mark to reach but I want to be looking back on it, leaving it behind," said Moreira, who ended the day with 901 with the aptly named Shining.
His other winners were Anove, Fantasy and Juneau Park.
Moreira used everything he had to seal the win on the John Size-trained Picken, as Neil Callan's mount Toycoon challenged with determined intent.
The two gallopers responded to the power-packed driving of their respective pilots but it was the one they call "Magic Man" who conjured enough to get his mount to post a short-head win.
"It's amazing how hard it was to win this race. Neil's horse didn't want to give up but, fortunately, I had the edge on him at the right time," Moreira said.
Purton scored on Grade One and Band Of Brothers.