Magic Man intent on more G1 glory

Sydney is the next stop on Joao Moreira’s global farewell tour but the superstar jockey wants to make it crystal clear he is not in town for fun.

Moreira handed in his Hong Kong licence last year due to ongoing struggles with a hip issue, returning to his homeland of Brazil with plans to compete at selective international meetings as he begins the wind-up of his glittering career.

But with his hip currently stable, his body healthy and his desire as strong as ever, Moreira says he is in Sydney with the sole focus of adding to his tally of 33 Group 1 wins.

“I want to make it very clear, I still love riding very much,” Moreira said.

“I will ride for as long as I can but from the perspective of the doctors, it is something that is irreversible and as time goes by, eventually I’ll have to pull the pin.

“But for the time being I can keep on riding.

“Knowing I’m not going to be able to ride for too long, each little bit of success we can get is no doubt a little bit sweeter.”

A call from champion trainer Chris Waller was the impetus for Moreira’s latest Sydney sojourn but he didn’t need much convincing.

No stranger to Australian racing, Moreira has recorded four of his majors here, three of them for Waller during the 2014-15 season aboard He’s Your Man (Epsom Handicap) and Brazen Beau (Coolmore Stud Stakes, Newmarket Handicap).

He has rides in all four Group 1 races at Randwick on Saturday, including the Waller pair of Militarize in the Sires’ Produce Stakes (1400m) and Fangirl, the second favourite for the $4 million Doncaster Mile (1600m).

“When I left Hong Kong a couple of months ago, I said that I wanted to do a tour around the world,” Moreira said.

“I’ve been given some opportunities to ride in some places and getting a phone call from Chris Waller to come over and ride a little bit over here, I wouldn’t think twice about that.

“Chris is a person that you would dream to work with. He’s calm, he’s very patient, he passes on confidence to his riders which I think is extremely important.”

Moreira is still getting his head around the local form but after testing Fangirl in a trackwork gallop on Tuesday, he knows he is on a classy mare.

She has beaten all but Anamoe at her past two starts, albeit she will have to overcome a tough Doncaster draw in barrier 19.

The prospect of such a challenge only appeals to Moreira’s competitive nature, as does riding against the likes of star hoops James Mcdonald, Hugh Bowman and Tom Marquand, not to mention his old Hong Kong for Zac Purton.

“It definitely rises your own game. Either you put up the best you’ve got, otherwise you’re going to go home as a loser,” Moreira said.

“They are well respected riders and riding with them, it’s always a pleasure.

“I’m excited to be back in the saddle and (to) put on a show out there.”

About RS NewsWire

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