Sunday’s 2017 LONGINES Hong Kong International Races meeting commenced with leading jockey’s Joao Moreira and Zac Purton vying for position through the running of the HK$1.3m Fantastic Light Class 3 Handicap (1800m) with Moreira winning the strategic battle on John Size’s Sergeant Titanium.
Sergeant Titanium and Joao Moreira inside with Victory Boys and Brett Prebble stretching, picture Liesl King
Moreira brought Sergeant Titanium across from barrier 10 gradually edging closer to Purton racing on rails with the favourite Circuit Hassler. By the 1400m Moreira was three wide but outside his prey Purton on the rail and another 600m he was exactly where he wanted to be, one out, as they headed into the turn with Tai Smart leading.
Into the main straight Moreira sailed three wide with clear racing room while on the rails Purton was trapped with Circuit Hassler behind the slowingTai Smart. It then took Purton until the 250m before he could bring Circuit Hassler out to chase the leader, but the opportunity was gone with Circuit Hassler’s top-weight 133lbs making it difficult to step up.
Out in front Sergeant Titanium was clear, but Brett Prebble came quickly down the middle of the track on Victory Boys (Mastercraftsman) (132lb), but they missed by a nose. Bring It On (Arcano) (117lb) and Vincent Ho were third with the margin 1/2L and Circuit Hassler and Purton were fourth.
The time was 1.47.84 on the Good track, quicker than standard by 0.06.
The win was Moreira’s 40th of the season to-date with Purton second on the Premiership on 34.
The rising Dylan Mo brought home his 11th winner of the season when he rode Tony Cruz’s Key Witness over the top of his more senior colleagues to win the Able Friend Class 3 Handicap (1200m).
Storm Signal and Tommy Berry had settled down to combat Bravo Watchman and Moreira, but out in the middle of the track both Key Witness and Mo and Simply Brilliant and Nash Rawiller came very quickly over the final 100m.
Both caught the other two with Key Witness (Show A Heart) (133lb) and Mo taking the honours by a short head over Simply Brilliant (Frankel) (129lb). Bravo Watchman (Congrats) (132lb) and Moreira won the next slot by a neck with Storm Signal and Berry a 1/2L away.
Moreira signals his 40th win of the season, picture Liesl King