The booking of champion Hong Kong jockey Joao Moreira to ride Shards has tidied up the riding engagements for Godolphin’s three runners in the Group 1 $1m De Bortoli Wines Golden Rose Stakes (1400m) at Rosehill on September 12.
Shards scored his second career win with James McDonald in the saddle when he beat Voilier and Sebring Sun in the Group 3 $125,000 Up and Coming Stakes (1300m) at Randwick on August 22.
But Godolphin’s number one rider will switch back to Exosphere after the Lonhro colt won the Group 2 $175,000 MTA NSW The Run To The Rose (1200m) at Rosehill last Saturday with Sam Clipperton and shot to the top of the Golden Rose market order with Ladbrokes.com.au.
Exosphere is now the $3 favourite ahead of Golden Slipper winner Vancouver who has lost some supporters following an ordinary barrier trial at Rosehill on Tuesday morning and now shares the second line of betting at $4.20 with the Chris Waller trained Press Statement.
Godolphin’s head trainer John O’Shea hasn’t forgotten Clipperton and the young rider will be aboard Holler who finished third to Exopshere in the Run To The Rose under Christian Reith.
“With Joao riding Shards, James McDonald is back on Exosphere and Sam Clipperton will ride Holler,’’ Godolphin spokesman Darren Beadman told The Daily Telegraph.
As well as quickly establishing himself as the champion jockey in Hong Kong after two seasons with a recording breaking jockey’s title in 2014 – 2015, Moreira has made regular trips to Australia over the last couple of years to ride at the major carnivals and has had Group 1 success with Sydney’s leading trainer Chris Waller.
Moreira combined with the Waller trained He’s Your Man to win the 2014 Group 1 $500,000 The Star Epsom (1600m) at Randwick and followed that with two wins on brilliant colt Brazen Beau in the 2014 Group 1 $500,000 Coolmore Stud Stakes (1200m) and in the 2015 Group 1 $1m Lexus Newmarket Handicap (1200m) both at Flemington.
Moreira has only just returned to Hong Kong for the beginning off the new racing season after being crowned the top rider at the 2015 World All-Star Jockeys competition at Sapporo in Japan against a group of international jockeys including Australian rider Craig Williams.
The super star jockey is also hoping that his exposure to the Japanese racing participants will help secure rides for the high class Japanese gallopers that are starting to dominate world racing.
“I have a very high opinion of Japanese horses, I think they are very good, so if they take some horses somewhere and I’ve made a good impression here, maybe I will be offered some rides,” Moreira said.
“It was very important that I did well, because there could be some more fruits to come from this trip.”
Shards is rated as a $13 chance for the Golden Rose Stakes along with the Gai Waterhouse trained Speak Fondly and Rageese from the Team Hawkes stable while Holler is marked at $15.