Hong Kong super star Joao Moreira has been booked to ride Group 1 winning mare Sweet Idea in the Group 1 $2.5m Darley T J Smith Stakes (1200m) at Randwick on April 4, the first day of ‘The Championships’.
Trainer Gai Waterhouse was forced to chase a new rider for Sweet Idea after Blake Shinn was suspended for careless riding following his winning ride on the mare in Group 1 $400,000 Canadian Club Galaxy (1100m) at Rosehill last Saturday and will miss the first day of ‘The Championships’.
Moreira has made regular trips from Hong Kong to Australia during carnival time and has collected numerous wins including two Group 1 victories on the Chris Waller trained Brazen Beau.
The Brazilian born jockey combined with Brazen Beau to win the Group 1 $500,000 Coolmore Stud Stakes (1200m) at Flemington during the 2014 Melbourne Cup Carnival and then teamed up with the three year old again to win the Group 1 $1m Lexus Newmarket Handicap (1200m) at Flemington on March 14.
With Waller opting for Brazen Beau to miss the ‘The Championships’ and head to Royal Ascot in England instead, Moreira then became available for the Sweet Idea ride.
Moreira, in only his second season riding in Hong Kong, is currently leading the jockey’s premiership on ninety-three wins, well ahead of last year’s leading jockey Zac Purton on sixty-two.
The thirty year old learned his trade in his native Brazil before heading to Singapore where he was the champion jockey from 2010 until 2013 before heading to Hong Kong in October 2013 where he finished second to Purton on the premiership table in his first season there.
Sweet Idea broke through for her maiden Group 1 win in the Galaxy but had been a consistent performer at the highest level since her two year old season.
The Snitzel mare was runner up in the 2013 $2m Jeep Magic Millions 2yo Classic (1200m) at the Gold Coast and then went on to run third to stablemate Overreach in the 2013 Group 1 $3.5m Tooheys New Golden Slipper (1200m) at Rosehill.
Sweet Idea went on to be placed in Group 1 company on three more occasions with a second to Steps In Time in the 2014 $600,000 Coolmore Classic (1500m) at Rosehill as well as two seconds over the 2014 Melbourne Spring Carnival behind Dissident in the $400,000 New Zealand Bloodstock Memsie Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield and behind Bonaria in the $500,000 Myer Classic (1600m) at Flemington.
The Waterhouse trained mare has won eight of her nineteen starts with four at Group 2 level and has earned in excess of $2.4m in prizemoney.
Sweet Idea is well in contention in the early betting for the T J Smith Stakes and is listed as a $13 chance with Ladbrokes.com.au.
The Team Hawkes trained Chautauqua heads the market order at $3 ahead of Terravista at $3.60, Lankan Rupee at $5 with Our Boy Malachi sharing the $13 line with Sweet Idea.