Trainer John Thompson has enticed Singapore sensation Joao Moreira to Australia to ride four of his horses at Warwick Farm this weekend.
The jockey, who originally hails from Brazil, has ridden more than 100 winners in Singapore for the second season in a row.
He is currently 41 wins in front of his closest Singapore rival, Vlad Duric.
“He’s a young Brazilian jockey and he rode a couple of years in Brazil… and then he moved on to Singapore and was a revelation there,” Thompson said.
“He’s a bit of the superstar.
“He’s got a pretty similar style to someone like Craig Williams.
“He’s got an incredible record… and the horses just tend to run for him.”
Thompson first approached Moreira, who is known as “Jo” to most, about the prospect of riding for his Sydney stable during last year’s Perth Summer Racing Carnival.
Moreira was in Perth to compete in the International Jockey Challenge, which he won.
“We sewed the seed a while back when we were over in Perth for the carnival,” Thompson said.
“We sort of put the idea in his head (that) if you ever get sick of Singapore, there are good opportunities in our country.”
However, Moreira is not making a permanent switch to Australian racing and is only confirmed for tomorrow’s Sydney meeting.
Thompson said despite the language barrier, there are no problems understanding one another when it comes to racing.
“He speaks broken English but with the horses you can communicate with him quite well,” he said.
Moreira will ride Pane In The Glass (Furious Stakes), Trusting (Chelmsford Stakes), Win For Wilson (Ming Dynasty Handicap) and Gathering (Tramway Handicap) at tomorrow’s meeting.
Thompson feels that Pane In The Glass has continued to improve this preparation and has taken a lot from her first-up win in the Group 3 Silver Shadow Stakes.
“Her first trial was super,” Thompson said.
“Her second trial was a bit (of a) question mark.”
The trainer believes the last minute change of venue from Randwick Racecourse to Warwick Farm due to safety concerns will hinder Pane In The Glass’ chances in tomorrow’s race.
“Very disappointed we are going back to Warwick Farm,” he said.
Thompson said it is likely that Pane In The Glass would settle towards the back of the field, but will leave the final decision up to Moreira.
“We’ll leave it up to him a little but, (see) how she jumps,” Thompson said.
“The last time we tried to ride her forward was Warwick Farm… she just didn’t finish off.”
Pane In The Glass will have to take on in-form Anise, who finished a close second to Foxwedge last start, in tomorrow’s Furious Stakes and Thompson understands this will be a difficult task.
“I’ve got no doubt that (Foxwedge’s) form is probably better,” he said.
“(But) our filly’s fit and well and it will take a good one to beat her.”