Leading Hong Kong-based jockey Joao Moreira has been a standout performer over his ‘hit-and-run’ tilts at Australian feature races through the 2014 Spring Racing Carnival, and was thrilled with the performance of Lexus Stakes winner Signoff for fourth in yesterday’s Melbourne Cup.
Jumping from the gates well, Moreira settled Signoff within the pack and off the pace of the race’s early leaders, receiving an ideal run in transit before mustering a strong sprint in the final straight to finish around five lengths off the pace of runaway winner Protectionist.
Thrilled to have been given the opportunity to ride in Australia’s headline race for thoroughbred racehorses this year, Moreira told AAP he was impressed with the feel offered up by the Authorized gelding in the Melbourne Cup and is satisfied with the result.
“My horse had a beautiful run through the race,” Moreira said.
“Just before turning for home I got a bit of a bump from the horse on the inside of me and pushed me a little bit wide. That didn’t change the result of the race as I couldn’t get past the second horse Red Cadeaux.
“He ran a very good race for me and I have to say thank you to all those people that brought me over.
“Everything went well, not the best, but we should be proud of it.”
Claiming seven race wins and three minor places over just 14 competitive starts so far, Signoff has steadily built to the task this time in; overcoming a disappointing run for ninth in the Group 3 JRA Cup (2040m) on September 26th in finishing second in the Group 2 Herbert Power Stakes (2400m), third in the Group 3 David Jones Cup (2000m) and winning the Group 3 Lexus Stakes (2500m) just three days prior to the Melbourne Cup.
Returning to the spelling paddock following his Melbourne Cup fourth, Signoff will return to racing during the 2015 Autumn Carnival.