THREE-time Singapore champion jockey Joao Moreira etched his name in the Singapore horse racing history books – and possibly the world – for a feat that may well never be emulated again here when he booted home eight winners from as many rides at Kranji on Friday night.
The mercurial jockey had already equalled jockey Saimee Jumaat’s Singapore record of seven winners in a day when he lifted Weowna Flyer to a thrilling neck-win in the penultimate event of Friday’s nine-race programme. But then, Saimee, a nine-time Singapore champion jockey, was trumped. He achieved his haul (Better Than Ever, Ace Amante, Intercept, Waipapa, Waikato, Sean and High Noon) from a book of more than seven rides on 2 August 2009, while Moreira’s was a faultless seven from seven.
“What’s better than a dream come true? I think this is it,” said Moreira as he acknowledged the crowd’s applause at the winner’s circle. To be honest, I never dreamed of winning on all my eight rides tonight, but when I started to close in on the fifth win, I thought maybe I had a chance as I still had good chances.
“I would like to first of all thank the Singapore Turf Club for having given me the chance to ride here. There is no better place than Kranji to ride at and I’m so happy I’ve done it (eight winners) here.
“I also thank all the fans and people who have supported me, especially this crowd here, clapping their hands. I hope they enjoyed it as much as I have enjoyed it.”
For the record, Moreira’s haul of eight winners is not the absolute all-time highest number of winners ridden by a jockey in a day. It is not known if a perfect eight is unprecedented either as horse racing is a sport that has existed for centuries across many jurisdictions where not all have necessarily kept well-documented records.
To put things in perspective, on 11 June 2005, the day after winning five races in one day at Calder Racecourse, jockey Eddie Castro set the North American record when he won nine races from 11 mounts on Calder’s 13-racecard, but riding eight from eight is certainly in the same realm as Frankie Dettori’s Magnificent Seven when he rode the card at Ascot on 28 September 1996.
Moreira’s eight-timer propelled him to 148 winners – uncannily, the exact same score he was on 7 September at last year. – Singapore Turf Club.