There’s no picking and choosing for Joao Moreira
The four-time Hong Kong champion returns to action on Sunday knowing he must garner more support or forget about a fifth title.
Joao Moreira is ‘hungry’ and ‘willing’ as he prepares to play catch-up after missing the first two meetings of the Hong Kong season, but the Brazilian is expecting a tough battle to find the backing he knows he needs if he is to challenge Zac Purton for the premiership.
And the four-time champion, a dominant phenomenon during his first few seasons in the city, believes there is a myth in need of busting.
“I know people think I can pick and choose rides,” he said. “I’m not able to pick and choose rides; I haven’t been able to do that for quite some time now.”
The Brazilian’s late return to Hong Kong from his home country – after undergoing treatment for injuries and ailments, including a problematic hip – sidelined him from the Sha Tin season opener last Sunday; and he was still under quarantine restrictions when he spoke to Asian Racing Report on Wednesday, just as his peers were taking their berths in the jockeys’ room for Happy Valley’s first meeting of the season.
“I was allowed to ride trackwork for the first time this morning,” he said, “but I know that I have a lot of work to do. Being out a little bit longer and giving the head start to everybody, what else can I expect? I have to get back into the system and get things started again and that doesn’t happen all at once; I have missed pre-season and that puts me behind.
“I’m willing to fight, to go to war; I want to be there challenging Zac and whoever else can get the support, but I know I’m not in the range of people giving me the support I need to make the game interesting for me and for everyone watching.”