In the world of racing, Joao Moreira
plays second fiddle to no-one. So on Saturday at Flemington, with all eyes on three of the world’s best sprinters, Moreira was not to be bumped off centre stage, putting on a riding clinic in Australia’s greatest sprint race.
Group 1 sprints are rarely over at the 300m mark, but such was the mastery of Moreira, he had already put lengths on his rivals by that point and it was clear that nothing could stop Brazen Beau becoming the sixth three-year old in 12 years to win the race.
The genius was in Moreira’s pro-active nature. While Terravista, Chautauqua and Lankan Rupee jostled for position, ready to reel in early leader, Lord of The Sky
, Moreira had pushed Brazen Beau through on the inside.
Within the space of 50m, the big three had gone from contenders to pretenders and Brazen Beau was racing clear to victory.
The camera made it look like Chautauqua was taking ground off Brazen Beau near the line, but the sectionals told a different story. He was the fastest horse in each of the four final 200m sectionals, and was 0.04 of a second faster than the runner-up over the final furlong.
That says a lot about the brilliance of the I Am Invincible colt, but it also tells us a story of a jockey who believed his horse had the strength to win the race. He could have waited for the others to come before pressing the button, but with just 52kg on Brazen Beau’s back, Moreira played to his own advantage.
While there has been much discussion in recent weeks about the trend of engaging fly-in, fly-out international jockeys, racing fans will look back upon this time as one where they got to see the world’s best at work.
led the way in the spring, winning the Cox Plate and the Emirates Melbourne Cup, while last week’s Australian Guineas was quinellaed by Hong Kong-based pair Brett Prebble
and Douglas Whyte
This week, expecting an epic battle of thoroughbred speed, the crowd of 25,016 at Flemington were instead treated to an exhibition from the world’s premier horseman.
Earlier in the day, he had guided Pittsburgh Flyer
to an impressive win in the MSS Security Stakes
(1100m). Like on AAMI Victoria Derby Day, where he won the Lexus on Signoff
and the Coolmore Stud Stakes on Brazen Beau, Moreira marked his visit to Flemington with a double.
Moreira’s strike rate in his time in Singapore and Hong Kong tell you he is a great rider. But when you see the way he sits on a horse, you know no stats could do justice to the sense that the Brazilian hoop was born to ride. And on the big stage he has delivered again.