‘Magic Man’ turns up the heat at Warwick Farm

Adding his star power to the midweek meeting at Warwick Farm, celebrated jockey Joao Moreira wasted no time making an impact with a winner at his first ride.

Moreira, who has been competing in Japan, is back in town to partner the Chris Waller-trained Militarize in Saturday’s $1 million Golden Rose (1400m), tuning up for the big race assignment with four rides on Wednesday.

His first was aboard lightly raced filly Aditi for Gai Waterhouse and Adrian Bott in the Drinkwise Plate (1200m) and the pair made easy work of it, racing to a commanding 3-1/4 length win.

Moreira, who has ridden all over the world, is no stranger to Australian racing and despite the unseasonal heatwave Sydney is experiencing, he is excited to be back.

“Australia is a lovely place and I’m extremely happy to be around once again,” Moreira said.

“She is such a nice filly. She did everything straightforward for me.

“She did win with some authority and made my job so easy today.

“Once we were approaching the home turn and I started to ask her to build up momentum, she did respond very nicely.”

Aditi was stakes placed on debut at Flemington in October before finishing midfield in the Blue Diamond Preview at her only other run.

Bott said they identified the Warwick Farm race as an ideal first-up target given it was one of the recently introduced ‘Super’ maidens and carrying a $100,000 prizemoney purse.

But they have bigger plans in store for the filly, who will be given the chance to work her way back into black-type racing.

“She’s a classy filly and no doubt she’ll get back to that grade,” Bott said.

“I just wanted to get her back and get a bit of confidence, get that important win on the board and I think we can step her up in grade off the back of that performance.

“Things were falling into place for her with this particular race put on, the ‘Super’ maiden, and the ‘Magic Man’ (Moreira) being available. It looked too good to refuse.”

Aditi brought up the middle leg of a treble for Tulloch Lodge after they took out the opening race with progressive mare Soul Choice and the final event with Rise Of The Masses.

Ridden by Adam Hyeronimus, Tasmanian Oaks winner Soul Choice had a class edge at what was her first run back from a busy campaign that culminated with a midfield finish in the ATC Australian Oaks (2400m).

“It was a tough campaign for her last time, she was well travelled and did plenty of racing so it’s good to see her back in great shape,” Bott said.

“We’ve still got a bit of room to move in the ratings, so we just want to take her through her grades and creep up in distance and she’ll continue to improve.”

Moreira also added to his tally aboard the Waller-trained Afterlight in a drama-packed sixth event with Ithadtobezou a late scratching after tossing Josh Parr on the way to the barriers before Dyaln Gibbons came off his mount Lucky Variety shortly after the start.

Gibbons was uninjured while Parr suffered a concussion injury and was taken to hospital for precautionary scans.

Parr is likely to be out of action for at least a week meaning a new rider will be needed for Don Corleone in the Golden Rose.

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