Joao Moreira and Zac Purton face next round of title battle in Hong Kong

Sat 2 May 2020

Hong Kong title hopefuls Joao Moreira and Zac Purton will both ride for trainer John Moore is Sunday’s feature Queen Mother Memorial Cup at Sha Tin.

The pair are locked in a battle for the jockeys’ title, with Moreira three ahead of Purton, and the duo will be teaming up with Savvy Nine and Eagle Way respectively.

Eagle Way makes a quick return to action after finishing third in last week’s QEII Cup.

Moore said: “Eagle Way is the best stayer in the race, just look at his third last Sunday.

“But, when you take into account the 2400 metres with top-weight of 133lb on his back, it’s going to be tough. I’m not worried about backing up quickly, he pulled up fine, I’ve had him a long time and I know he can back up in a weak race.”

Moreira will be riding Savvy Nine for the first time, with the four-year-old having finished fourth on his penultimate start in the Hong Kong Derby.

Moore told “The light weight is going to be key to him, especially over that distance of ground.

“He’s a horse on the rise and he travelled very well the other day with a closing third in a 1200-metre dirt trial. The jockey got off and said he was very happy.

“He’s well-weighted but he has to be given a very good ride.”

Moore also saddles Helene Charisma and Chefano, but Helene Leadingstar is the horse in form as he seeks a hat-trick of wins for trainer Tony Cruz.

He said: “He’s got a big chance. He’s won two races already and I’m very happy with him leading into this.

“I was really pleased with his barrier trial and I expect him to show us his ability over the mile and a half, he’ll see out the distance easily.”

Moreira has a ride in all 11 races on the card, while Purton has 10 mounts.

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