Moreira Lights Up Shergar Cup
I am not the biggest fan of the Shergar Cup. But I decided to watch it this year and I am glad I did. Not because the event got my pulse racing, it didn’t, but because of one jockey Joao Moreira.
He rode two winners on the day in Berkshire Boy and Green Power. Yet still managed to finish second to Hayley Turner in the individual competition. Both winning rides were excellent in their different ways and underlined his status as arguably the best jockey in the world.
Not only is Moreira a class jockey, he’s a class act off the track too. As we saw on TV after his win on Berkshire Boy. Given English isn’t his first language, he gave a highly enthusiastic and erudite interview to Tom Stanley from Racing UK.
What a joy it was to listen to him. Just a shame we can’t get to see him racing in Britain for a season. So, it was worth watching Ascot's Saturday racing, not for the competition itself but to see Moreira in action both on and off the track.
Apart from the Shergar Cup there weren’t many talking points from the weekend's action. At least this time next week we can look forward to the start of York’s Ebor Festival.
More on York next Monday when I will be sharing with you some of my approaches to the meeting.
Fire Brigade, trained by Michael Bell, had been well fancied for the Lincoln Handicap (8/1) before finishing down the field. He then ran well when runner up at Haydock in April, a track he’s won twice at in the past, before having a wind operation.
This Ascot run was his second since that win surgery. Even the rain that fell on the track before racing didn’t really make the ground soft enough for the 4-year-old. In finishing 5th, just 1 ¾ length behind the winner Via Serendipity, there was plenty of encouragement in this run. But he does need plenty of ease in the ground. All his best RPR’s have come on soft or good to soft ground, as have his four career wins on turf. Indeed his record over a mile with soft in the going description is 4 wins from 9 runs 7 placed.
Still 3lb higher than for his last win (Oct 2017). There's a nice handicap in the gelding when the there’s more juice in the ground.
Sir Dancealot Looks Set For Hungerford Win
There’s a couple of decent days racing at Newbury on Friday and Saturday. The highlight of the two-day fixture is the Group 2 Hungerford Stakes over 7f. Looking at some of the race trends:
Horses aged three or four have won nine of the ten renewals
Horses rated 110+ have won nine of the last ten races.
This years runners and the going are a bit of an unknown at the time of writing. One almost certain to take his place is recent Lennox Stakes winner Sir Dancealot. He was only 5th in last years race but he’s a better horse now and may not have appreciated the soft ground.
The 4-year-old comes into the race after wins in a Newmarket Group 3. Before coming with a powerful late run to win at Goodwood. After the race, his jockey Gerald Mosse told the Racing Post, “He’s for me definitely a Group 1 horse. It is not even a question”. High praise indeed from the jockey.
He needs all the cards to fall right, as he's to be ridden for a very late run. But when they do as they did at Goodwood, he’s close to top class. If he gets a sound surface he must have a great chance of continuing his winning run on Saturday.
I am off to Windsor for today's selection. Revich, won a Chester Nursery from the front two starts back. The 2-year-old wasn’t able to get to the front, from his wide draw, in a valuable nursery at Goodwood 11 days ago but ran well to finish 6th of 17.
The colt needs the step up to a mile to bring out more improvement off his present mark but if he can get out in front he could be hard to peg back.
6:30 – Revich – 13/2
Until next week.