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2012 Longines International Jockeys' Championship


Winning jockey Joao Moreira horse racing

Winning jockey Joao Moreira gets interviewed after the Longines International Jockeys' Championship

© Steve Queen
Updated December 07, 2012
At Happy Valley Racecourse in Hong Kong on Wednesday night, Joao "Magic" Moreira won this year's edition of the Longines International Jockeys' Championship, with his 2 wins and 24 points in the 4 race competition, taking home the HK$500,000 (US$64,500) first prize. Jockeys were awarded 12 points for a win, 6 points for second, and 4 for third, and competed in four races, each contested at 1650 meters (1 mile 44.5 yards) over the 7 furlong right-handed turf course with randomly assigned mounts under handicap weights, before a crowd of 15,431. Locally based Zac Purton finished second with 18 points, followed by Irishman Ryan Moore's 12 points.

In the first leg, Moreira sent 13-1 shot All The Winners to the lead first time by, set an easy pace while a length in front, and then through the stretch, drew off to win by 1 3/4 lengths over Yuichi Fukunaga aboard 3-1 favorite Golden Osmanthus. It was another 1/4 length back to Matthew Chadwich aboard 9-2 Very Well third. In the second leg, Ryan Moore win by 3/4 length aboard 5-2 second choice Absolute Fantasy, over Douglas Whyte aboard 2-1 favorite Expectator, and Tom Queally aboard 16-1 Travel Guide. Moreira was fourth aboard 11-1 Snitzel Kid. In the third leg, Zac Purton aboard 3-1 second choice The Untouchablelad rallied from 10th early to win by a neck over Tom Queally and 5-2 favorite Xilai Xianzi and Craig Williams aboard 38-1 Ming Hoi Treasure. Moreira was fourth aboard 10-1 Good Luck Win. This set up a showdown in the final leg, with Moreira riding 9-1 Noble Deluxe rallying from 11th to win by a nose over Zac Purton's 5-2 favorite Chancellor. It was a neck back to 11-1 My Home Town with Douglas Whyte.

Moreira said after the first leg, “The trainer told me to take the lead so that was the plan but the horse jumped so quick that he made it easy for me. Then I was able to dictate my pace and that went all right until the last 600m, when I asked my horse to kick again. He made it very hard for the others to pass him and I reckoned that I was very fortunate to sit on top of such a brave horse. It is my second time here in this championship and my first win in it. It means a lot to me and helps me to ride with more confidence in the next one.” After the second leg, winning rider Moore said, “He looked like my best shot on paper today and everything went according to plan. What you need around here is a good draw and a straightforward horse and that was what I had. He switched off a bit before the straight but eventually did it well.” Third leg winner Purton said after that race, “There was a good pace to the race, and he finished well.”

After nailing down his first International Jockeys' Championship, Moreira, who is based in Singapore, said, “I am on top of the world and I don’t really have words to describe it but I can thank the man upstairs for this especially as I didn’t really think about my winning chance beforehand. It hasn’t really sunk in yet.” Runner-up and locally based Purton said, “It was a great night, but I feel as if I have been robbed. To lose the Championship by a nose is tough, but I won in Japan last week (World Super Jockeys Series), so I can’t complain, I guess.”

The jockeys participating this year were: Craig Williams (Australia), Christophe Lemaire (France), Olivier Peslier (France), Tom Queally (Ireland), Yuichi Fukunaga (Japan), James McDonald (New Zealand), Joao Moreira (Singapore), William Buick (United Kingdom), Ryan Moore (United Kingdom), Douglas Whyte (Hong Kong), Zac Purton (Hong Kong), and Matthew Chadwick (Hong Kong).

Final scored and results are available on page 2.

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