Racing

Moreira and Gibson team strike again

They bag double with Colorado High and My Winner

It's not too often that the names of Joao Moreira and Richard Gibson have appeared alongside each other in the race card.

It's rarer still for them to connect for a win. But on Sunday at a cloud-blanketed Sha Tin afternoon meeting, it happened.

Colorado High's success in the Class 4 Kennedy Town Handicap over 1,200m was only the second ever. My Winner's score one race later was the third.

Moreira went on to complete a hat-trick on the Danny Shum-trained Good Runner Way.But the training honours went to Paul O'Sullivan, who enjoyed his best start to a campaign in many a season as he bagged a three-timer to take his tally to five wins.

Until Sunday, Moreira had ridden just 40 times for Gibson and their only previous victory together was way back in February 2015, when Sugar City won a Sha Tin Class 4 event.

"I haven't ridden a winner for Richard for a very long time and getting two for him makes me very pleased," Moreira said after the mid-card brace.

"Richard's a very professional guy and he knows what he's doing. Unfortunately, I haven't had many opportunities to ride for him in the past, but lately he's been giving me some rides and they've been good ones."

Gibson pointed out that it's not easy to book the three-time champion.

"It's rare that we can get our hands on Joao but it often pays dividends when we do," he said.

Colorado High's first career win hinted at a decent future, given that it was the four-year-old's fourth start.

"He won quite impressively and I wouldn't be surprised if Richard stepped him up a bit further, he's one of those up-and-coming horses," Moreira said, after nailing a 11/2-length win.

Moreira next delivered a sweet ride on My Winner in the Class 4 handicap over 1,400m. The five-year-old, first-up for the term following a stable transfer, was dropped-in second last on the fence as the field of 14 rounded the top turn.

"From an awkward draw (13), to get in that winning position was an excellent effort from Joao," Gibson acknowledged.

"My gut feeling was that the horse had improved since we got him, more relaxed, and I think there's more to come from the horse."

My Winner responded to Moreira's urgings and, as the gaps opened, the gelding kept on finding to run down the Zac Purton-ridden Sprint Forward for a half-length success.

"Amazing job by Richard," the "Magic Man" said.

"He's definitely improved this horse, whatever he's done, it's paid off."

Moreira completed the trio with a sweet ride on the Shum-trained Good Runners Way in the Class 4 race over 1,650m on the all-weather.

"I'm lucky Joao rode the horse otherwise he wouldn't have won. He's always been an outstanding jockey, he and Zac Purton, they're both outstanding," Shum said.- HKJC

HORSE RACING