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Joao Moreira confident he will ride at Happy Valley after suffering dehydration at Sha Tin

Joao Moreira is confident he will be fit to take his rides at Happy Valley on Wednesday night after hitting the Sha Tin turf on Sunday following a bout of blurred vision caused by dehydration.

In what looked an innocuous incident, Moreira came off the Frankie Lor Fu-chuen-trained Sakewin well past the finishing line after partnering the previously undefeated galloper into fourth in the Class Three Eagle’s Nest Handicap (1,200m).

He was carried to an ambulance on a stretcher and transported back to the medical room.

“I was too dehydrated. My vision went red and dark and once the horse turned a little bit, it threw me off,” the star Brazilian said.

“But I was going slow enough that when I was dislodged I landed on my feet and rolled. It was just about dehydration and the hot weather, I just didn’t feel well.

“I didn’t get hurt, I didn’t hit the ground hard and I just hope the horse is fine. I’m just looking forward to getting home to drink and eat.”

Moreira was stood down from his rides in the final two events on one of the hottest Sha Tin race days of 2022 so far, where the temperature reached north of 32 degrees Celsius, but confirmed he plans to be back in the saddle at the midweek meeting.

Moreira was earlier successful aboard the Danny Shum Chap-shing-trained Romantic Combo in the Class Three Piper’s Hill Handicap (1,800m) but saw his lead in the jockeys’ premiership cut to six after rival Zac Purton helped himself to a treble.

Sent out a $5.30 favourite in an open race on the all-weather track, Romantic Combo tracked leader Skyey Supreme in the run before sailing past that galloper early in the home straight and going onto win by a length and a half.

Ferraris feels the love

Luke Ferraris put paid to a nagging drought with victory aboard the David Hall-trained Gracylove in the Class Four Sha Tin Pass Handicap (1,400m).

Ferraris had gone 59 rides between drinks since his last victory on April 3, which was also for Hall aboard Kung Fu Tea.

“It’s very nice to land a winner, it’s been a bit too quiet but that’s how Hong Kong goes,” Ferraris said.

Ferraris and Hall have two winners from 40 attempts this season but have been around the mark a good chunk of the time, also combining for 10 placings.

“It’s very nice to get a winner for David, we’ve hit the board a lot. I’ve had a couple of winners for him but there’s been numerous placings so hopefully we can turn those seconds and thirds into winners soon,” Ferraris said.

The 20-year-old now has 13 winners in his maiden Hong Kong season and is confident he can continue to build into his career in the city.

“Any jockey would like to ride more winners than they have but I’m not too disappointed, we all know what Hong Kong is like and to do OK here is an achievement in itself and I’m obviously looking to build on what I’ve done so far,” Ferraris said.

Sent out a $15 chance, Gracylove saluted for the first time since October, and for the third time in 20 career starts.

Racing in a visor for the first time, Gracylove raced one back on the rail from gate one and Ferraris was able to ease the five-year-old to the outside of the leaders straightening for home and he was too strong late, defeating David Hayes-trained outsider Chiron by a length and a quarter.

“He just lost all of his form and his desire, so he had us a bit baffled,” Hall said of Gracylove.

“He had the blinkers on before and it didn’t have much effect on him so when he became as frustrating as he has been, I decided to try the visor on him in a trial and it was the first time he’d shown a bit of positivity.

“I was hoping he was going to carry that form forward to the races and thankfully it worked.”

Jockey Club commits to development

Jockey Club officials held a ceremony before the races on Sunday acknowledging the transformation of the Racing Development Board into the Racing Talent Training Centre, which will have two schools under it – the Apprentice Jockeys’ School (AJS) and the Racing Talent School (RTS).

Ahead of a special race day on June 5 to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the AJS, the Jockey Club confirmed its new two-pronged development approach.

“While the AJS will continue provide riding training, the RTS will provide skills-specific training for non-riding professionals [such as] stable assistants, farriers and more,” the Jockey Club said in a statement.

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