Moreira surges past own record in Hong Kong
Champion jockey takes season's tally to 169 winners, one more than last season
Brazilian jockey Joao Moreira snared another little slice of Hong Kong history at Sha Tin on Sunday, as the rider broke the record for most winners in a season for the third term in a row.
Moreira partnered Me Tsui-trained FANTASTIC SHOW to win the Chai Wan Road Plate (1,200m) for griffins before adding the second section of the Class 3 Pok Fu Lam Reservoir Road Handicap (1,200m) on Peter Ho's SUNNY WIN to take his seasonal haul to 169 wins, one more than the 168 he accrued in 2015/16.
That 168 total broke Moreira's own record of 145 from 2014/15, which in itself usurped Douglas Whyte's previous mark of 114, set in 2005/06.
"It has been a very special season," said Moreira.
"It means a lot, it means that the hard work that I have put in this season has all been worth it.
"Records are there to be broken, so it's nice to get to do it again, although I'm sure there will be someone who comes along and breaks my records one day."
The milestone win came on Sunny Win, who was heavily supported into 1.9 favouritism before scoring a comfortable length-and-a-half success.
Ho believes that the dirt race fell perfectly for the Northern Meteor gelding after he jumped from gate 9.
"The outside draw was a big help for him," said Ho.
"If he had drawn inside, I don't think he could have won because he has a big stride and he doesn't like kickback.
"Joao came back and said that he needs further, so we still have the 1,650m up our sleeve again next season, it's just that there were no races for him now over the mile.
"Obviously for Joao, it is a big thing getting the record, although I think it is just another winner for him. He has ridden plenty of them."
Neil Callan and Keith Yeung shared riding honours with Moreira, both also riding a double each.
Callan's brace came in consecutive races, scoring the featured Class 4 Hong Kong Riding For The Disabled Association Cup Handicap (1,600m) on Benno Yung's SUCH A HAPPINESS before getting everything out of the consistent HARBOUR ALERT to give the Paul O'Sullivan trainee his first Hong Kong win at start 23 in the first section of the Class 3 Pok Fu Lam Reservoir Road Handicap (1,200m).
Yeung's winners came on Almond Lee-trained GREAT TREASURE in the Class 4 Tuen Mun Public Riding School Handicap (1,400m) and on the Benno Yung-trained Hong Kong debutant Coby Boy, who provided a 98-1 shock in the Class 3 Lei Yue Mun Park Handicap (1,400m).
Trainer John Size continued his own record-breaking season, taking his total to 93 wins as GIDDY GIDDY scored his third win for the term, his second over the Sha Tin dirt 1,200m, in the Class 4 Pok Fu Lam Public Riding School Handicap (1,200m). - HKJC