Racing

Moreira wins five and Size four

Hong Kong champion jockey and trainer dominate on New Year's Day meeting in Sha Tin

Joao Moreira and John Size dominated the New Year's Day action at Sha Tin Racecourse on Monday, with five wins for the champion jockey and four for the champion trainer respectively.

But the day's feature - the Group 3 Chinese Club Challenge Cup Handicap - eluded their grasp.

The axis had to settle for second in the 1,400m feature with Beat The Clock.

The improving Fifty Fifty, ridden by Karis Teetan, had the 1.8 favourite's measure in a thrilling tussle between two of Hong Kong's rising stars that lifted the 85,000-strong holiday crowd.

The Group 1 Stewards' Cup over 1,600m at the end of the month now beckons for the Peter Ho-trained victor.

"If he comes out of this race in good form, we will definitely consider the Stewards' Cup. I can't find another mile race for him, so this is my plan," said Ho.

"He's a tough horse. When Beat The Clock came to him, he fought again. He has a big heart and he'll be a better miler."

Moreira stormed to five wins in the first eight races, raising the prospect that the Brazilian might equal his Hong Kong record of eight wins in a day through the afternoon's final three contests.

That possibility ended in Race 9 and Beat The Clock's defeat lessened Moreira's chances of riding a third stand-alone six-timer at the track. Lockheed was an unlucky fourth for the champ in the finale.

Moreira kicked off 2018 with a win atop the David Ferraris-trained Soccer Brave (12-1) in the opener.

He achieved his next four wins in tandem with Size: Nice Kick (3.4) in Race 4, Unicron Jewellery (6.5) in Race 5, Infinity Endeavour (3.5) in Race 7 and an exciting two-length score atop the unbeaten four-year-old Conte (1.3) in Race 8.

"It's been a fantastic day overall, that's what I call a happy New Year!" Moreira beamed. - HKJC

HORSE RACING