Joao Moreira continues title chase with full book of ten rides at Sha Tin

Sat 16 May 2020

Joao Moreira has another full book of 10 rides as he Zac Purton continue their fascinating tussle for the Hong Kong jockeys’ title at Sha Tin on Sunday.

Moreira trails Purton by two winners and he teams up with top weight Butterfield in the feature Hoi Ha Handicap, with trainer Danny Shum hoping the three-times champion can weave his magic.

He said: “Butterfield is doing OK, the 1600 (metres) is maybe too short for him, 1800 (metres) is his trip. He won over this distance four starts ago, so hopefully he can run good.

“Top weight is a bit of a concern but Joao is on – he’s working well and he’s a happy horse.”

Uncle Steve, who was a winner at Beverley as Court Of Justice when trained by David Simcock, lines up for Douglas Whyte after putting an injury issue behind him with a fair third last time out.

“He lost a bit of form during the mid-part of the season through a quarter crack and he’s had to get his confidence back and get over that, but slowly and surely he has and the writing was on the wall last time,” Whyte said.

“I did expect him to return to form, the betting didn’t though – I think he was way over the odds. I put him on the turf a couple of days before that run and he was back on song; he seems to have carried the form out of that run nicely, he’s working well at home and he’s shown me he’s back on song.”

Purton rides Super Oasis in that race while ex-John Gosden runner Private Secretary is another familiar name.

Moreira also teams up with a Whyte inmate in the Pak Sha O Handicap in the shape of Inner Flame, with Purton on Superich.

The Michael Chang-trained President’s Choice will be trying for a hat-trick in the hands of Karis Teetan.

He said: “He’s won two nice races, he’s a nice little horse – his last win was very gutsy.

“Going up in class now, with a light weight, it will be difficult but it will definitely give him a chance, going up in class is always a tough test for them.”

Purton counts King Print in the opening Yung Shue O Handicap and Chevalier Prince in the second division of the Wong Ma Tei Handicap as two of his mounts, while Moreira has Picken in the Sham Chung Handicap and Diamond Brilliant in the Lai Chi Chong Handicap as two of his leading chances.

Apprentice Jerry Chau rode a double on his debut at the track last weekend and he has nine rides on Sunday.

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