Racing

No stopping jockey Joao Moreira

Brazilian lands fourth successive treble to take season's tally to 48 winners

Jockey Joao Moreira stole the show again at Happy Valley on Wednesday night, landing his fourth treble in a row.

He has achieved 12 victories from his last 25 rides.

After taking Races 3 and 4 on Ready Conqueror and Champ Patrol respectively, he also took Race 5 aboard the Frankie Lor-trained Kinda Cool in the first section of the Class 4 Gloucester Handicap over 1,200m.

"It's not too difficult when you get an inside gate," said the Brazilian. "He's been a nice horse. He has been a little bit unlucky with his gate and today it wasn't the case and I think it's paid off."

Moreira has extended his lead in the premiership table with 48 wins, 20 clear of reigning champion Zac Purton, who missed the action due to suspension.

"Frankie had him very well for the race. It wasn't too complicated for me, I just had to make sure I didn't run into traffic and, when I got him into the clear, he just showed the ability that he has. He won with a little bit of authority," said Moreira.

The New Zealand-bred four-year-old grabbed his second win from seven starts in Hong Kong.

As a 60-rater, he will move up to Class 3 next start.

Lor also credited the good gate and a gear change for the win.

"He's drawn wide his last two starts here," he said. "I think at Happy Valley, he needs a good draw and also, I gave him blinkers for the first time. He looks more concentrated."

Moreira kicked off his treble aboard the Me Tsui-trained Ready Conqueror, who staved off his rivals to win the Class 5 Lockhart Handicap over 1,000m.

He then drove the Caspar Fownes-trained Champ Patrol to a comfortable win in the second section of the Class 4 Gloucester Handicap over 1,200m.

He almost made it a running four-timer, as the Lor-trained We The South tried to go all the way. But he was denied in the Class 3 Fleming Handicap over 1,000m by Blake Shinn on the Danny Shum-trained Handsome Bo Bo.

While Moreira cherished his fourth consecutive treble, trainer Francis Lui savoured one his biggest moments when he achieved a significant milestone with his 700th Hong Kong win with Le Terroir in the Class 3 Harbour Handicap over 1,200m.

"I'm happy. I just try to win as many I can," said Lui, who was first licensed in the 1996/97 season.

He ended last term with a personal best of 63 wins, which included a clean sweep of the Four-Year-Old Classic Series with Longines Hong Kong Mile hopeful Golden Sixty. - HKJC

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