Joao Moreira

Strong Finish Carries Stellenbosch To Oka Sho Glory

Stellenbosch (Jpn) (Epiphaneia {Jpn}) reversed the form with her G1 Hanshin Juvenile Fillies conqueror, Ascoli Piceno (Jpn) Daiwa Major (Jpn), as she ran out an authoritative winner of Sunday's G1 Oka Sho (Japanese 1,000 Guineas) at Hanshin Racecourse, the first leg of the Japanese Triple Tiara. The hitherto unbeaten Ascoli Piceno was crowned champion Japanese two-year-old filly in 2023, though Stellenbosch didn't have much to find with the favourite on their Hanshin Juvenile Fillies running when she'd finished best of all from the rear of the field to be beaten...

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Another Group Winner For The Late Starlet's Sister As Shin Emperor Reigns In Japan

Just a handful of days after her passing from colic, Ecurie des Monceaux's star broodmare Starlet's Sister (Ire) (Galileo {Ire}) came up with her fourth group winner, the now two-for-two Shin Emperor (Fr) (Siyouni {Fr}), who won the G3 Radio Nikkei Hai Kyoto Nisai S. at Kyoto on Saturday. The chestnut full-brother to G1 Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe hero Sottsass (Fr) (Siyouni {Fr}) was made the 5-2 pick by the Kyoto faithful, but his task was not made easier when he made a slight hop at the break and...

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Sweet Symphony At Tokyo For Maurice Colt

The blaze-faced Strauss (Jpn) (Maurice {Jpn}) attained his first stakes victory under Joao Moreira in the G2 Tokyo Hai Nisai S. at Tokyo on Saturday. A winner on debut over 1600 metres locally in June and a solid third in the G3 Saudi Arabia Royal Cup on Oct. 7, he was sent off at 4-1 in this return to group company. Content to track Teleos Lulu (Jpn) (Al Ain {Jpn}) from a wide third down the backstretch, he was eager to improve his position through the first half-mile in :47.30....

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Equinox Primed For Tenno Sho Autumn Defence

Perched atop the Longines World's Best Racehorse Rankings at 129 pounds for much of the year after his sensational 3 1/2-length victory in the G1 Dubai Sheema Classic in Dubai this March, the formidable Equinox (Jpn) (Kitasan Black {Jpn}) will attempt to become only the third horse to claim the ¥421,420,000 G1 Tenno Sho (Autumn) in back-to-back years at Tokyo on Sunday. The reigning Japanese Horse of the Year has never finished worse than second in eight starts, and landed the G1 Takarazuka Kinen at Hanshin over 2200 metres--200 metres...

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Sol Oriens, Tastiera Face Rubber Match In Kikuka Sho

While there is no Triple Crown at stake this season, Sunday's G1 Kikuka Sho (Japanese St Leger) over about a mile and seven furlongs (3000 metres) shapes an intriguing affair nonetheless, with the winners of the first two legs locking horns with--potentially--champion 3-year-old honours at stake. Shadai Farm's Sol Oriens (Jpn) (Kitasan Black {Jpn}) was late to begin his career, but was a quick study, winning his first three trips to the post and overcoming some immature habits to best Tastiera (Jpn) (Satono Crown {Jpn}) by a clear margin in...

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Moreira Looking Forward To Shergar Cup, Retirement Delayed

Joao 'Magic Man' Moreira, Rest of the World team captain for the Dubai Duty Free Shergar Cup at Ascot on Aug. 12, is looking forward to the challenge, as he delays his retirement for now. "I was struggling with hip injuries at the end of last year, which I am not over yet but there is no doubt that I am a lot better than I was," said the four-time Hong Kong Champion Jockey. "I was thinking about quitting riding but, once I started getting better, I felt I could...

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Strength In Numbers For Japan In Saudi Cup

by Brian Sheerin in Riyadh, Heather Anderson & Alan Carasso Wherever and whenever horses from Japan show up on the world stage, recent history dictates that they are to be taken very seriously. As recently as 12 months ago at the Saudi Cup meeting, horses representing the island nation accounted for four of the evening's six big races, and a month later in yet another desert destination, they somehow managed to one-up themselves with a spectacular five-timer on Dubai World Cup night. The nation has yet--repeat, yet--to break through in...

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Frankie Dettori: Country Grammer Has 'Rock-Solid Saudi Cup Credentials'

RIYADH, SAUDI ARABIA--Country Grammer (Tonalist) brings rock-solid credentials to the G1 Saudi Cup at Riyadh, according to his legendary rider Frankie Dettori, who says the Bob Baffert-trained 6-year-old can go one better than last year in Saturday's showpiece. Dettori also described Baffert's other runner in the race, the unexposed Taiba (Gun Runner), as a force to be reckoned with as the 52-year-old spoke alongside fellow luminary in the saddle, Joao Moreira, in the build-up to the world's richest race. "Country Grammer is very solid and never runs a bad race--touch...

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Baffert Runners Draw Inside And Out For Saudi Cup

A field of 13 was drawn Wednesday evening in Riyadh for the $20-million G1 Saudi Cup, to be contested over 1800 meters under the lights Saturday at King Abdulaziz Racecourse in the Saudi capital. Commonwealth Thoroughbreds, WinStar Farm and Zedan Racing's Country Grammer (Tonalist) is back for another tour of the Middle East, having missed by a half-length in this event 12 months ago before landing the G1 Dubai World Cup some 600 miles to the east in Dubai. In stark contrast to 2022, the 6-year-old, who will carry the...

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Godolphin's Lemon Pop Primed For Group 1 Success in February S.

Tokyo Racecourse plays host to the first of 24 Group 1s on the JRA circuit, Sunday's February S. going a one-turn mile on the dirt track, and with the race's two-time defending champion Cafe Pharoah (American Pharoah) preparing for next Saturday's G1 Saudi Cup and with would-be favourite Gilded Mirror (Jpn) (Orfevre {Jpn}) having recently been retired due to injury, the race is there for the taking for the wonderfully consistent US-bred Lemon Pop (Lemon Drop Kid). The 5-year-old, purchased for $70,000 as a weanling at the 2018 Keeneland November...

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Golden Sixty, Glory Vase Set For Longines HKIR Three-Baggers

Invitations for this year's Longines Hong Kong International Races were made public prior to the start of the Happy Valley meeting Wednesday, with a total of 24 overseas horses--five more than last year--from Australia, England, France, Germany, Ireland, Japan and Singapore among the invitees. In the history of the HKIR, only one horse--Good Ba Ba (Lear Fan)--has managed to score three victories at the meeting. More history could be made this year when two-time Hong Kong Horse of the Year Golden Sixty (Aus) (Medaglia d'Oro) and Japan's Glory Vase (Jpn)...

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Moore, McDonald Lead International Cast For Longines IJC

Eight high-profile overseas jockeys will join four Hong Kong-based riders to compete for the HK$500,000 top prize in the Longines International Jockeys' Championship to be held at the iconic Happy Valley Racecourse on Hong Kong Island Wednesday, Dec. 8. Ryan Moore is set to jet in to make a 15th appearance at the IJC, having dead-heated for the spoils with John Murtagh and Christophe Lemaire in 2009 before winning the title outright 12 months hence. Moore, who has finished on the podium four times since his most recent victory, currently...

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