David Morgan

Chief Journalist


Hong Kong season will start without Joao Moreira

There is uncertainty about when the Brazilian champion will be back in action after treatment for unspecified injuries.

Joao Moreira will be absent from the jockeys’ room when Hong Kong racing recommences with the 2022-23 season opener at Sha Tin on Sunday, September 11.

A Hong Kong Kong Jockey Club statement issued on Tuesday revealed that the four-time Hong Kong champion jockey’s return to the city has been delayed, and that he has ‘required treatment overseas during the off-season,’ to address a ‘number of ongoing injuries.’

Moreira is not expected to arrive back in Hong Kong until September 10. The Hong Kong government’s three-day compulsory quarantine requirement for inbound travellers means he will not be available to ride until the Happy Valley fixture on Wednesday, 14 September, at the earliest.

But the HKJC statement did not reveal details of Moreira’s injuries and did not give an assurance that the Brazilian would be fit and available to participate in races at the season’s first Happy Valley meeting. 

“Moreira will be assessed by the Club’s chief medical officer and a further release will be issued when he is passed fit to resume race riding,” the statement said.

Moreira chose not to make any comment when the Report contacted him in Brazil where he has been spending time with extended family this summer. It is the first time he has left Hong Kong since before Covid-19 swept the city and prompted three years of quarantine and lockdowns.

The prolific rider was troubled with injury and ailment throughout last season when he lost out to Zac Purton in an exacting and tightly-fought contest for the premiership. As well as managing a long-standing hip issue, he was stood down from riding for the best part of two meetings after experiencing chest pains at Happy Valley on June 22.

Around this time last year Moreira went on record about the struggles he had with his mental wellbeing in the face of those strict Covid-19 measures and the toll the competitive schedule placed on his body.  





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