Moreira snares Time Warp for Sunday’s Sa Sa Ladies’ Purse
Joao Moreira has been casting admiring looks at Time Warp for some time and Sunday’s G3 Sa Sa Ladies’ Purse Handicap (1800m) affords the champion jockey a first chance to partner the strapping chestnut in competition.
The Brazilian ace takes over from Alvin Ng, who guided Tony Cruz’s charge to a hat-trick of impressive wins at the end of last term. That winning streak ended first-up this campaign when the British import finished a solid third behind Beauty Generation in the G3 Celebration Cup Handicap (1400m).
Time Warp winning at Happy Valley, picture Hong Kong Jockey Club
Moreira climbed astride Time Warp for the first and only time to date on 24 October. The Archipenko gelding made all of the running that morning to lead home 11 others in a 1200m all-weather barrier trial that also featured Sunday’s rivals Nassa (113lb), Eagle Way (128lb) and Horse Of Fortune (131lb).
“The trial was fantastic,” Moreira said after trackwork on Friday (3 November). “I just did what Tony Cruz asked me to do and let him run forward. He attacked the line nicely, so I was delighted with his trial.”
Time Warp, a two-time Listed winner in France for Sir Mark Prescott pre-import, will shoulder 123lb in the classy 14-runner field.
“Usually the bottom-weighted horses have an advantage in these handicaps, but he’s in the middle of the handicap and, based on his trial and his form, I still see him as a winning chance. He’s got a good gate (four) and hopefully he can deliver his best from there.”
Time Warp lowered the Happy Valley track record for 1800m when storming away with a Class 2 handicap back in June. The four-year-old won that contest by two and a half lengths in a time of 1m 47.61s.
“When he broke the Happy Valley track record I was very impressed with how he won. Obviously, he was one of the horses on the list of horses I wanted to ride this season, so I’m happy to have him,” Moreira said.
The Danny Shum-trained Circuit Land (133lb), turning out for his first start since a failed assault on the KOR G1 Korea Cup, heads the weights for Sunday’s feature, a race first staged in 1846. Last year’s victor Horse Of Fortune (131lb) and the well-regarded Nassa (113lb) represent trainer Tony Millard who is seeking a fourth Ladies’ Purse win and a third in a row.
Trainer John Moore has engaged three horses with LONGINES Hong Kong International Races ambitions in Eagle Way (128lb), Helene Charisma (119lb) and Rocketeer (113lb), as well as the seven-year-old galloper Harbour Master (120lb).
Also in the line-up are the Cruz-trained Romantic Touch (122lb), Doyeni (113lb), General Sherman (113lb) and Consort (113lb). Marvel Hero (118lb) represents trainer Caspar Fownes, while the Almond Lee-trained Keen Venture (113lb) completes the line-up.
The Sa Sa Ladies’ Purse is race seven on the 10-race card. The action commences with the Class 4 Kate Handicap (1200m) at 1pm and concludes at 5.50pm with an exciting edition of the Class 2 Elizabeth Arden Handicap (1400m), which features rising stars Fifty Fifty, Pingwu Spark and Sacred Elixir.