Hong Kong – There was a moment at Sha Tin’s opening day of the new racing season on Sunday when even the most experienced and hardest-nosed fans mused over the idea that Joao Moreira might ride all of 800 winners this term.
Yes, it might be foolish and impossible but it came on the back of Moreira winning the first five races of the season.
“We had a bit of luck, I had some good rides. Actually, I thought it could be a hard start for the season because I wasn’t being offered the same number of rides as usual.
‘‘But maybe the trainers are keeping some horses back because of the hot weather,” Moreira told the South China Morning Post. “Anyway, fortunately they were good enough rides and I got some wins out of them.”
On opening day last year, the Jockey Club posted a new first-meeting record turnover of HK$1.208 billion but managed to eclipse that last weekend and the attendance figure, despite the distant spectre of typhoon weather hanging around all day.
“Our attendance was practically the same but our cross-betting crowd at Happy Valley was slightly more and brought the total up to more than 66,000 and HK$1.29 billion was a new record turnover. Very pleasing for a meeting that some people weren’t too confident would even race a day or two ago,” said chief executive Winfried Engelbrecht-Bresges.
“Our commingling figure was up from HK$57 million to HK$104 million so that trend is continuing. And I thought we saw a really good race meeting with some excellent performances.”
Umberto Rispoli was quickly off the mark with Mongolian King, while Karis Teetan and Chad Schofield also got into the No 1 box.
It’s a new year, a new term and a new start and nobody wants to be the last away.
The next Hong Kong race meeting will be staged at Happy Valley tomorrow. – South China Morning Post.
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