Le Terroir (129lb) has found his groove in Hong Kong having won three of his last four races, all over 1200m at Happy Valley.
That tally includes an emphatic performance first-up this term and he will aim to back-up in the Class 3 Speed Vision Handicap (1200m) at Happy Valley tonight, Wednesday (23 October).
Joao Moreira hopped on the Peter Ho-trained Star Witness gelding for the first time last start for an easy two-and-three-quarter length score. The Brazilian is up against two rivals he has already won aboard this season, Monkey Jewellery (123lb) and Smart Leader (132lb).
“It is a strong field but with the way my horse won last start – it’s very hard to let it go and not ride him again,” Moreira said.
The galloper was upped 10 ratings points for that win to a mark of 72, having dropped to 47 before his smart streak began four starts ago.
“Unfortunately from that win he was heavily punished by the handicapper – but it is what it is and hopefully he can overcome that and do it again,” the three-time champion jockey said.
Ho’s four-year-old appears to have found his niche as a three-time victor over 1200m at Happy Valley from eight attempts. The speedy runner will break from barrier one this time.
“He’s such a big strong horse, he’s only four so he’s still developing but he’s on the way up from last time, I’m definitely going to the races with as much confidence as I can have,” Moreira said.
“I was expecting him to win (last time) as he was doing so well in his trackwork but I didn’t expect him to win that well,” Moreira said.