Sat, Nov 1, 10:32am by Daryl Curnow
JOAO Moreira is a top international jockey who has ridden winners in countries such as Singapore, Hong Kong and now Australia. The talented jockey has an abundance of quality rides on Derby Day and we believe he is worthy of following today at Flemington.
The Brazilian thirty-year-old has ridden more than 750 winners but his winning strike rate in Australia speaks for itself. Considered one of the most talented horsemen in the world, Moreira has won 14 starts from only 95 rides in Australia with a further 20 placings.
His win percentage of 15% ranks very highly considering he’s not used to the Australian way of riding and his 36% place percentage also reads well. The glaring aspect of his riding is that his average winning price is $8.08 in Australia which is outstanding. His return on investment (ROI) is 19% and the reason why we are highlighting this globetrotting jockey in this preview.
Moreira has eight rides from a possible nine-race card at Flemington and he kicks off in Race 1 in the $201,000 Carbine Club States with Azkadellia.
The Ciaron Maher-trained filly was one of the most unlucky horses you’ll ever see last time out at Caulfield. The three-year-old was ridden by Michelle Payne but she was quickly replaced by one of the best international jockeys. Her biggest attribute is that she drops nicely in weight from 59.5kg to 53kg. Settling last in the field at Caulfield, Payne was unable to find clear running despite having room to switch to the outside. Connections believe that the rider change will make the difference and Moreira is known for his aggressive racing style. She opened as low as $2.80 but has since drifted out to $3.30 where she will likely stay steady.
The Bjorn Baker-trained filly is having her first run left handed but the big wide track of Flemington should suit her nicely. The three-year-old has had nine starts for one win and four placings but it was her win over 1800 metres four starts back where she won by 3.75 lengths that captured everyone’s attention. The daughter of Real Saga finished second in the Reg Allen Stakes behind Abduction who is well favoured to win a big race later in the day. There has been a fair bit of rain this morning but the track remains good and that will suit her nicely.
One of Joao’s longer shots of the day is Velrossa at $18. The Chris Waller-trained gelding is second up where he boasts a record of five starts for two wins and one placing. Despite a disappointing run in the Group One Stradbroke where he finished 13th, his other starts haven’t been all too bad. He finished fifth in the Listed Luskin Star at Scone behind Mighty Lucky and he battled well for ninth last start at Caulfield. The field is led by Hucklebuck at $2.90 who is likely to run well but place chances are there for the taking.
Behind favourite Rich Enuff, Brazen Beau is one of the most favoured runners for Moreira at a price of $7. The three-year-old for Chris Waller was a last start winner in the Group Two Roman Consul when beating Nostradamus by 1.75 lengths. The well bred colt is a winner of three from seven including two placings and although he hasn’t won at this track he is twice a winner at this distance. The early morning rain would have posed some problems but the mid-day heat has dried the track off and he should be a good winning chance. Moreira rode him to victory in the Roman Consul so this strikes as one of his most favoured bets of the day.
The Darren Weir-trained gelding burst onto the scene by winning the first six of his seven career starts, but has since tapered off a touch. The five-year-old has been putting in good finishes lately in behind Big Memory and Contributor of late and the extra distance is ideal. It’s about time Signoff showed that he can keep up with the big boys as most of his form came mid-week or in average staying fields. The $2.60 on offer is a touch short but the Moreira touch could prove the difference.
He’s Your Man is a very good chance to win the Group One Longines Mackinnon Stakes. The Chris Waller-trained horse has won five from 18 and his last two, including a win in the Group Three Kingston Town and most recently the Group One Epsom Handicap at Randwick. Not considered to be one of the best rated imports this season, the six-year-old has really come of age and should put in another top effort. There isn’t much separating top to bottom in this field so the Moreira factor could play the winning part.
New Zealand trainers Trent Bussutin and Natalie Young have secured themselves a hot-pot jockey for their maiden runner Atmosphere. The Savabeel gelding ran fifth on debut before running three consecutive second placings – most notably a second placing in the Group Two Vase last weekend at Moonee Valley. Considering two maiden runners in this field are well favoured (the other being Preferment) his chances to win appear bright.
Not his best ride of the day at $41 but Viadana is Group One winner in New Zealand and is capable of putting in a surprising run. Her recent form doesn’t read well but she is an eight-time winner at this distance with a further five placings. If Moreira hasn’t gone well throughout the day then Viadana at huge odds could be the get out of jail free card.
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