Leading international jockey Joao Moreira has had an incredible career with 720 wins under his belt, but this weekend he’ll travel to Sydney in search of his first Australian Group One victory that has eluded him thus far.
Chris Waller realised there were not many jockey’s that could make He’s Your Man’s 52.5kg weight for the 2014 Epsom Handicap, and that “magic man” Moreira would be the perfect fit.
“It was difficult to find jockeys because of the big meetings in Sydney and Melbourne, that’s why we had to think outside the square,” Waller told The Sydney Morning Herald.
“Joao is clearly one of the best riders in the world and seeing that he was available and can ride the weight … it was great to book him.
“I have learnt that there are a lot of photo finishes when you train more than 200 winners a year and the right jockey makes the difference more often than not.”
The Brazilian jockey, who conquered Singapore and is now making a name for himself in Hong Kong, booked a total of seven rides for the weekend action at Randwick Racecourse but it was He’s Your Man, the Waller-trained Group 1 Epsom Handicap (1600m) hopeful who really caught his eye.
“He’s got a lot of things going for him,” Moreira said to Sky Racing. “His form looks very good.
“He won over 2000 metres at his last start, is coming back to 1600 metres and drops in weight.”
He’s Your Man has placed in all four of his last outs, including two wins. His most recent start was the Group 3 King Town Stakes (2000m) at Rosehill Gardens Racecourse on September 13 which he won by over one length.
The gelding was $6 third-favourite with Ladbrokes.com.au before the betting market was suspended to take the first acceptances this morning, and will likely still be at the top when they reopen later today.
Moreira may be winless at the highest level in Australia, but he tasted double Group Two success back in September 2011 aboard the John Thompson-trained Trusting in both the Chelmsford Stakes (1600m) and Hill Stakes (2000m).
The jockey cannot wait to get back in the country and begin his rides.
“I love going down to Australia. Everyone has treated me very well on previous trips,” Moreira said.
“Hopefully I can have some luck on Saturday and win my first Group One race in Australia.
“In this game you need some sort of luck.”
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