Brazil jockey makes every post a winning one in Asia

Thu May 14, 2015 7:12am EDT
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By Julian Linden

SINGAPORE (Reuters) - Horse racing has always thrived on its romantic notions. The rich and famous might own most of the best horses but it is the success of the battlers that keeps the sport's heart beating.

The Brazilian jockey Joao Moreira is living proof of that endearing appeal. Born into a life of poverty, he has defied the odds and risen to become one of the most accomplished riders in the sport, breaking records all over the world.

In racing circles he is known as the 'Magic Man', a nickname he was given partly because of the staggering number of winners he rides but also for the way he makes it all look so easy.

He has also been called one of the best jockeys in the world after going on a global winning spree and even his rivals find it hard to disagree.

"I've seen some great jockeys over the years, Eric Saint-Martin, Oliver Peslier and obviously Frankie Dettori," the Australian jockey Corey Brown told Reuters.

"But Jaoa's just got this uncanny knack to get on with horses. He just picks them up and gets them to do a little bit more.

"I don't know what it is or how to pinpoint it but I think it's the way he holds the horses, he just gives them a lot of confidence and he's definitely one of the best that I've ever seen."

When Moreira was a child, he would sneak into paddocks and ride farmer's horses at night to hone his skills.   Continued...

Joao Moreira riding Amber Sky of Hong Kong gestures after winning the Al Quoz Sprint during the Dubai World Cup at Meydan Racecourse in Dubai March 29, 2014.  REUTERS/Caren Firouz