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Major Riding Competition For Whyte & Purton
Three-time Singapore champion jockey Joao Moreira's bid to make a permanent move to Hong Kong adds an unexpected but fascinating dimension to this year's Hong Kong Jockeys' Premiership which was, until now shaping as another battle between arch rivals Douglas Whyte and Zac Purton. According to NZ Racing Desk, Moreira has lodged an application with the Hong Kong Jockey Club whose licensing committee will meet in early October to make a decision. Brazilian-born Moreira, 29, cited numerous factors for his decision but the opportunity to become the regular rider of champion Hong Kong galloper Ambitious Dragon is believed to have been a major incentive. If he gets the green light, Moreira expects to leave for Hong Kong on October 16 to be ready for his first ride aboard Ambitious Dragon in the Gr2 Sha Tin Trophy (1600m) on October 27. "It was one of the most difficult decisions I have ever made as a jockey," he said. "No other place in the world could have been better than Singapore for my career to take off the way it has, and I'm very thankful to the Singapore Turf Club and to my fans for their support all these years." During his successful 5-year tenure at Kranji, Moreira has ridden 703 winners including 24 feature wins with five at Gr1 level.