Joao Moreira is possibly the most in-form jockey in the world as we speak.
And while that’s terrific for Joao and his faithful followers, it can – and does – interfere with good old-fashioned form-lines as the Brazilian marvel could ride a broomstick and get the chocolates on a good day.His 2012 strike rate is a shade over 32%.
He has ridden 114 winners this year, 70 more than his nearest rival, Danny Beasley.
Last weekend he rode 10 winners from 19 rides including the two features.
To put that weekend haul in perspective, Greg Cheyne is having a good first year riding in Singapore and has 21 winners in total with Barend Vorster fourth on the premiership table with 29 winners.
So we all agree; the man they call ‘Magic’ is having a good run.
Not surprising he has a full-book of rides on Friday and all but a couple look strong winning chances (and who would bet against the ‘couple’?).
Case in point to Moreira defying form is RIO FORTUNE in the lucky last.
Since May last year, the CAPTAIN RIO 5YO has had 12 or so starts with an average losing margin of some 10 lengths. Moreira rode him once in those twelve starts; beaten under a length in Class 3 Company.
Back in Class 4 last start he was beaten by some 15 lengths, albeit from a bad barrier.
Moreira goes back on and he is a winning hope today – same Class, same gate.
It defies logic and oddly, makes our job picking winners tougher than it should be!
In saying that – and apologies to other hoops who are all giving their best – a Moreira horse that is in-form and should win on merit is NATURAL NICE (race 5).
The Laurie Laxon-trained 3YO is as honest as the day is long and looks the horse to beat in the Class 4 SHIN MIN CUP over 1400m.
But Joao will have his work cut out to win both ‘features’ on Friday’s card with EL MILAGRO looking a very good thing in the Class 3 NEW PAPER TROPHY (race 7) .
The 3YO was unlucky not to win in a similar affair last start and with the combination of blinkers on, John Powell on-board and gate one, should prove hard to beat.
Best Bets; EL MILAGRO (race 7, win), NATURAL NICE (race 5, win), POSITIVE THINKING/NOTIPNOTIPS (race 4, swinger/exacta).
Bankers for Jackpots: Race 7 (1), race 8 (1, 2, 3 and 13), race 9 (1, 4 and 5) and race 10 (1, 2, 3 and 7).
Race cards and Larry Foley’s synopsis follows and for updates on all runners go to www.kranjiracing.com
Please note the odds listed are “reference odds” only.
Selections; 2 FUKU ICHIBAN – 3 KAMAR DANCER – 5 HELLOLO – 8 SIR RUMBLE
A Class 5 over 1200m on turf starts proceedings. Recent Class dropper, FUKU ICHIBAN, is drawn awkwardly but if the Malaysian rider HS Gill can get him across he should give plenty of cheek. If he leads early – which he can – he is hard to beat. KAMAR DANCER has been supported and just missed out on his last two attempts, Joao Moreira should give him every chance on the speed and as a winner at Te Rapa on turf, the surface should hold no fears. HELLOLO has put in improved effort at his past two starts, with Shafiq’s claim he should get a nice sit just off the speed and make his presence felt in the straight. SIR RUMBLE is a seven time winner on turf and while best efforts over 1400m of late, he has drawn the ace with Jackie Low’s claim. He goes best in blinkers and when ridden on the speed, he should get that and may well be the value conveyance. HIS MY IDOL is usually thereabouts, CHEVY is a proven performer in this Class though he may like it longer and JERAM ROSE WOOD and ANIWA could show up.
1 CHEVY ** Six time winner down in class and better on the poly over longer. However he has won on turf and has won twice this distance. Versatile horse who goes well for Saifudin, keep safe. 12
2 FUKU ICHIBAN *** Well suited here, big chance if he can get near the lead early from wide gate. 5.00
3 KAMAR DANCER *** Has been well supported and just beaten last two starts on the Poly. Won at Te Rapa over 1400 on turf and gets his chance here. 3.50
4 HANG TUAH * Decent effort first up last start, should be further improved but best efforts have been on the Polytrack. 20
5 HELLOLO *** Last two starts encouraging, first try on turf but well drawn, should get on the pace and be able to finish off well. Good chance. 4.50
6 HIS MY IDOL ** Would like it longer but in form always a chance in this type of race. 12
7 JERAM ROSE WOOD ** Turf efforts have been ordinary, but last two runs good and pay to keep safe. 16
8 SIR RUMBLE *** In and out performer, but a 7 time winner well drawn here and the turf suits. Goes best when ridden on the speed. 6.00
9 CARRY THE FLAME * Pacifiers off, but form is poor. 50
10 HILARY ** First run back in Class 5 just fair but worth following as should be in the mix. 20
11 ANIWA * Only win was on turf over this distance four start back but nothing since. 25
12 HAPPY ENDING * Form is dismal and best form has been on the Polytrack. 33
13 GOLDEN FRIENDS * Wants a longer trip. 33
14 CONQUEST * Handy Class 5 miler who would like it longer. 33
Selections; 3 CHINESE TYCOON – 11 TIGER TZAR – 1 DARCISTAR – 7 SASSANID
Another maiden without a great deal of depth or strong form lines. CHINESE TYCOON has had 15 starts without breaking through, but two of his three turf runs have been good including a two- length second to BETTER LIFE. The 1400m should suit, his last run doing it tough was good and with Opie Bosson to steer, he should race well. Michael Clements has 3 runners, the best of which looks to be TIGER TZAR for whom he has engaged Joao Moreira. The horse raced very greenly at his first start and the blinkers have been removed. DARCISTAR was placed over a mile on turf during his last preparation and his first-up run on the Polytrack was meritorious; he should get a nice sit off the speed and run home well. The tongue-tie has been applied to SASSANID and like CHRISTMAS he has done enough at his only two starts to merit respect. YASTRZEMSKI is better than his first run suggested and of the unraced brigade, SUPER VICTORY has trialled well enough to suggest a chance in what is not a strong field and WILKINSON is worth some thought – market good guide on both of those runners.
1 DARCISTAR *** Placed over a mile on turf during last preparation. Good first up effort gives him bright prospects here. 5.00
2 GOOD DREAM * One of Michael Clements three runners. Gets away slowly but could be running on late. 20
3 CHINESE TYCOON *** Big effort last start doing it tough effort last start in Class 5 and has been placed on turf. Should go well for Opie Bosson. 4.50
4 CHRISTMAS ** Had support last start and went well enough on turf at previous effort to merit consideration with 1400m suitable. 8.00
5 DASHING WARRIOR ** The second of Michael Clements runners. Showed speed but weakened at first start, should be improved. 16
6 HEY WOLF * First start. Prefer to see. 33
7 SASSANID ** Tongue-tie added. First two efforts have been good and could show up without surprising. 8.00
8 SUPER VICTORY *** First starter who has been trialling well. Watch market but bold run expected. 12
9 WILKINSON *** Stable mate of HEY WOLF. First start but has trialed well on occasion. From astute stable so watch market. 33
10 YASTRZEMSKI ** Well beaten first start but improvement would not surprise. 16
11 TIGER TZAR *** The third of Michael Clements runners. Raced greenly at first start with blinkers. They come off and Moreira jumps on. Look for sharp improvement. 3.50
12 MAKE SENSE * Last two efforts ordinary. 50
13 LADIES FIRST * Last effort was okay and has had several trials since. Could show up if she gets a start, 33
14 RADIANT ROI * Wants longer but not a bad effort last start. Rough hope if he gets into the field. 33
Selections; 7 IRO OTOKO – 4 TERRA FIRMA – 1 MARAETI – 5 GLIMMERING
These 2000m races with small fields are always very tricky, particularly when trying to predict the way the race will be run. IRO OTOKO has been placed at each of his three attempts at 2000m, Moreira rides him for the first time and is certain to give him every chance. TERRA FIRMA took a fair while to win his maiden but he looks an improving type and the journey should suit. Stephen Baster has ridden him twice for two placings and should have him bowling along near the lead most of the way. While asked to carry the top impost of 58kg, I think the front-running style of MARAETI will hold him in good stead. The company suits and the experience of Danny Beasley will ensure he is well rated out front. GLIMMERING is another who races as if 2000m will suit and Barend Vorster should have him right on the pace. SOLID
WOOD is also on trial at the trip but is racing well enough to deserve consideration. THINK AHEAD ran his best race in Singapore last start, as did CARTAGO and IRISH FLASH is a pretty honest one-pacer.
1 MARAETI *** Has a big weight but knows how to win, and could lead all the way. Will find this easier than recent contests. 4.50
2 CANSAVE * Doubtful on form and at the journey. 25
3 SOLID WOOD ** On trial at 2000m but has won on the poly over 1800m and been placed on turf. Racing well enough to warrant serious consideration. 7.50
4 TERRA FIRMA *** Good effort last start and will appreciate stronger rider. Improving type who looks like 2000m will suit. 3.50
5 GLIMMERING *** Reasonable efforts last two starts since maiden win, races as if 2000m will suit and with Barend Vorster to steer should race well. 10
6 THINK AHEAD ** Ran his best race ever in Singapore last start and trialed well since. Winner over 1900m at Canterbury in Dec 2010 when trained by Bart Cummings. 12
7 IRO OTOKO *** Has been placed at each of 3 attempts at 2000m. Will race handy and a strong chance with Moreira taking the mount. 3.00
8 CARTAGO ** Battled away when fourth last start. Not without a chance. 20
9 IRISH FLASH * Probably better suited in Class 5 but is an honest sort of one-pacer. 20
Selections; 4 POSITIVE THINKING – 7 NOTIPNOTIPS – 2 NORTHERN CAT – 3 DESTINY ACTION
An extremely ordinary group of horses contest this 1600m Initiation. When Leslie Khoo engages Joao Moreira they rarely miss out and on this occasion NOTIPNOTIPS, with the blinkers applied, looks a strong chance from the good alley. The only issue could be the mile as he weakened over 1400m last start. With this in mind I’m happy to put POSITIVE THINKING on top. The Pat Shaw-trained 3YO battles away well and whilst being a bit one-paced, will have no trouble with the mile and could easily get away with this weak affair. NORTHERN CAT is up to a more suitable distance, he ran a good third two starts back over the mile on the Poly, and he was unplaced at his only run on turf. DESTINY ACTION has been a very disappointing conveyance, he has run his best races when KB Soo has been on top, and that will be the case here. Opie Bosson has hopped on AL-HAMID and he may well improve enough to be competitive. HELLO GOOD BUY had three starts in New Zealand, none at less than a mile, he has had numerous barrier trials and this field is weak enough for him to show up.
1 HELLO GOOD BUY * Had three starts in New Zealand all of which were at a mile or more. Could show up in this weak field but prefer to watch. 20
2 NORTHERN CAT *** Battled away well last start and better suited this trip – goes close. 4.50
3 DESTINY ACTION ** Last start better but extremely disappointing horse this campaign who must be taken on trust. 8.00
4 POSITIVE THINKING *** Has run some good races and should have won before now. Suited this distance and gets his chance here. 3.50
5 AL-HAMID ** Battles away, and a chance in this field with Opie Bosson taking the mount. 12
6 JOHNNY HATES JAZZ * Has had plenty of chances. 33
7 NOTIPNOTIPS *** Blinkers on. Nice first-up effort followed by reasonable performance last start where he showed speed. Engagement of leading rider a strong pointer to his chances. 3.00
8 PLUMMER * Distance will suit but will need to improve from first start. 20
9 ROUGH DAY * Well drawn, but will need to improve. 20
10 FANSOM * Blinkers off, done nothing so far. 33
11 MUSASHI MAMBO * Blinkers on which might improve him. 25
Selections; 1 NATURAL NICE – 2 SPYDER – 4 RAVOUX – 6 TOP PRIORITY
NATURAL NICE is a very consistent 3YO who looks well placed here from the good barrier with Moreira to steer for Laurie Laxon and very hard to beat. No value but a no-brainer. In saying that there are plenty of nice types that keep this interesting. SPYDER is an Argentinean-bred who was well supported last start, he should be improved by the run and the 1400m looks ideal. RAVOUX missed the kick last start and lost all chance, from the good draw Opie Bosson should have him on the pace and he can run a strong 1400m. The lightly raced 4YO, TOP PRIORITY, also looks ready to show his best. His last run was good and is a horse to follow. Likewise PIED PIPER. He remains a maiden but a smart move to Class 4 where he carries no weight almost paid dividends last start. IRISH COFFEE will find 1400m a stretch but usually puts in an honest effort. COLD SECRET’s only win was over 1400m on turf, he has been running over longer distances and this is more suitable.
1 NATURAL NICE *** Very consistent 3YO who looks perfectly placed here back in Class 4. Should get a nice run and very hard to beat. 2.80
2 SPYDER *** Well supported last start and put in a nice first-up effort. Will be suited by the 1400m. 3.50
3 IRISH COFFEE ** Would prefer 1200m, but usually puts in an honest effort and Class 4 suits. 12
4 RAVOUX *** Excuses last start as he missed the kick. From the good barrier should be able to run on the speed and should race well. 3.50
5 COLD SECRET ** Only win was over 1400m on turf. Has been going over longer trips and this is more suitable. 12
6 TOP PRIORITY *** Showed last start he is ready to show his best this campaign and looks up to this company – keep safe. 20
7 PIED PIPER *** Excellent run similar affair last start and right in this with no-weight a factor. 20
8 BENGAWAN * Old timer who could surprise but Class 5 looks his caper. 25
9 JEREMY * Resuming, won a trial recently but prefers the Polytrack. 33
10 WHIRLRUNNER ** Ignore last start in Progress as form prior in Class 4 solid and will be odds. 33
Selections; 5 SPIDER KING – 1 APACHE JUNCTION – 7 SACRED PRINCE – 2 LUCKY SUN
This race looks a tricky affair – most Class 5′s do these days – and while a couple of last start winners in SACRED PRINCE and JACK THE BULL are obviously in form, a few on the improve are worth following. One of those is SPIDER KING who has had excuses at his last couple and did win three starts back. His saddle slipping has been issue of late (twice) but his runs good enough to think he can win again with blinkers back on. APACHE JUNCTION is another who should improve with a run under his belt this campaign. He is usually seen on the Polytrack but has turf form and from gate three could give a very good account of himself at value. As mentioned, SACRED PRINCE picks himself winning two out of his last three starts over this trip/surface with the only concern being the work he may have to early from the wide gate. Of the rest, LUCKY SUN continues to show form and some rain about on the day would give him a good show at start 114 with PERFECT KID and ZAC COMMAND also in the mix.
1 APACHE JUNCTION *** Appreciates the run back and while not often seen on the turf is worth some thought. 10
2 LUCKY SUN *** Old campaigner in good enough form to think he has a say late and a big show on rain-effected track. 8.00
3 PERFECT KID *** Disappointing given support but form better than it reads and pay to keep safe. 5.00
4 PRINCESS JANNA ** Not a lot last start but been in the mix previously and a must for exotics. 12
5 SPIDER KING *** Excuses last couple and work late suggests he has plenty more to offer – can win with blinkers back on. 8.00
6 JACK THE BULL ** Broke maiden status at long odds last start and have to respect although this field looks stronger. 20
7 SACRED PRINCE *** Won a couple of late over this trip and pay to follow although will need luck from awkward draw. 4.00
8 ROCKET FLY ** Late ELYSIUM. In-and-out form and back in trip a concern but gate one and fresh so could sneak a place. 20
9 ZAC COMMAND *** Thereabouts as a rule and Moreira suggests he is in the market and runs accordingly. 5.00
10 MR BEAN * Hard to have. 50
11 CHAN’S ELECTRA ** Back in trip to find some form and have to take on trust on recent poor efforts. 20
12 SPECIAL SOLDIER ** Backed and beaten last start but usually thereabouts and can include in exotics. 20
13 PACK A PUNCH * Disappointing since showing promise early. Not for me. 50
14 MY NEW MAN * Easier to ignore. 50
Selections; 1 EL MILAGRO – 2 FUKU KITARU – 11 LUCKY XUAN – 4 RUSH
EL MILAGRO showed last start why he wins sooner than later in this company and its hard not to think it’s sooner as this race looks suitable. His runs in the 3YO series behind SUPER EASY were solid to say the least and with four wins from just 10 starts already to his name, the RED DAZZLER 3YO is a horse that should go through the grades. The fact his four wins have been on the Polytrack might have him start at better than even money and that would certainly be a bonus on what we saw last start with blinkers back on for this and gate one in his favour. We might look for value for the placings with FUKU KITARU usually thereabouts at back-able odds and a horse like RUSH likely to be the big improver and not the silliest chance on best form. LUCK XUAN found it tough last start in a similar affair (with heavy support) but all concerned
should have learnt from the run and with Moreira on-board, he will come in for some support again. RISING EXPECTATION, COUNTRY CLUB, TEEN ANGEL and the newcomer, OTHELLO also worth some thought in exotics. But EL MILAGRO very hard to beat.
1 EL MILAGRO *** Showed last start why he wins this type of race with blinkers from gate one a bonus. 2.20
2 FUKU KITARU ** Never really involved from wide gate last start and pay to follow each way on previous form. 6.00
3 COUNTRY CLUB ** Not far away last start similar affair and in the mix at probably value again. 8.00
4 RUSH ** Appreciates first run back and worth watching tote as will be more than competitive if on his game. 12
5 TROPICAL FOREST * Appreciates better gate today but still a query on this surface. 50
6 OTHELLO ** Former Australian who was going round in OK company before arriving – may need the run but watch tote. 20
7 RISING EXPECTATION ** Can be value and can show up on occasion so happy to include somewhere. 12
8 TEEN ANGEL ** In solid enough form and likes this surface – exotics a must. 20
9 BE A MAN * Getting home OK suggesting he is in fair form but Class 4 looks his caper. 50
10 WASSAIC ** Might need longer to be a winning treat but home very well last start and pay to follow suitable affair. 20
11 LUCKY XUAN ** Found it all too tough last start when supported similar affair but pay to give another chance. 5.00
Selections; 1 ALVITO – 2 APRIL’S KNIGHT – 3 MY FIELD – 4 ATIAMURI
This race could get ugly. Close to half the field, including likely favourite, ATIAMURI, were well beaten behind TERRA FIRMA last start and the question is will that form hold up against some nice enough types at the top of the ratings. The top three rated horses – ALVITO, APRIL’S KNIGHT and MY FIELD also have claimers on-board and happy to think the winner comes from one of those three. ALVITO was in super form last campaign and his first up run good enough to think he is flying late here and hard to hold out for regular hoop, ‘Jet’ Li. Likewise APRIL’S KNIGHT is in fine form in similar affairs and WX WONG will ride a very positive race on the JOHAR gelding and looks a very solid each-way option. MY FIELD won last time he raced in Class 5 – that’s significant – and doesn’t have to improve much on recent form in better company against most in this field. Obviously ATIAMURI gets support with Moreira on-board and coming off a placing and I LIKE – second in that same race – also appeals and is certainly racing in honest form of late. It will also pay to keep both emergencies safe if they get a start and URBAN LEGEND the value for the skinny end of the exotics.
1 ALVITO *** Will need luck from the wide gate but first up run good enough to think he gives this a shake. 5.00
2 APRIL’S KNIGHT *** In form and this race looks extremely suitable to knock in another win. 4.00
3 MY FIELD *** Form reads badly but significant drop to winning grade and blinkers back on a good move – can win. 11
4 ATIAMURI ** Placed last start with Moreira on-board and while beaten a fair way he must be respected from gate one. 2.80
5 DRUMSARA ** Not a mile away from the placings last start and certainly on the improve. 12
6 OLD FAITHFUL * Senior hoop and the money went on last start and while better it was still ordinary. 50
7 I LIKE ** Showing more than enough in similar affairs to think he can break his maiden status in a race like this. 5.00
8 ZAC DETONATOR * Struggling. 50
9 URBAN LEGEND ** OK home late last start after early interference – not the worst here. 33
10 TAKE THE FIFTH * Needs to find a few lengths to be in the exotic mix. 50
11 FREEDOM MAN * No. 100
12 ALL DRAMA * Hard to consider. 50
13 MAGIC ICON *** Did not go a yard early last start but good enough home to think we can follow. Keep safe. 8.00
14 SHOPPING LIST *** Disappointing last start on the Poly but effort prior to that on the turf has him a show in this. 20
Selections; 1 KINGRACER – 4 KALLISAN – 5 SACRED EMBLEM – 3 DEN
Apart from DEN, most of these horses come into this race with question marks on their respective last starts. With this in mind and thinking (hoping) DEN has ‘gone to the well’ too many times this campaign, the newcomer, KINGRACER, can win at his Singapore debut. The former Argentinean trialed very well and when you consider his trainer has already tasted success with another Argentinean-bred in GOOD LOOUKEN, he goes very close. As mentioned most others are coming off relatively poor runs but in saying that, KALLISAN did race in higher company and will appreciate what looks a suitable race and moderate Class 4 field. Opie Bosson takes the ride for Stephen Gray and from the good draw should get a gun run handy and prove hard to beat. Likewise, SCARED EMBLEM is coming off a poor run but that was over 1800m and given the VOLKSRAAD gelding rarely runs a bad race – one win and nine places from 14 starts in Singapore testament to that – he should bounce back and goes close. Throw in DEN and THE BIG DEE fresh for exotics.
1 KINGRACER *** Former Argentinean who looks well placed in Class 4 and recent trial impressive enough to think he gives this a shake on debut. 3.00
2 DAZZLING KIND ** Disappointing at two Singapore starts thus far but should improve with racing. 12
3 DEN *** Caught a few punters off guard winning stepping up to this grade last start but hard to ignore three-in-a-row. 6.00
4 KALLISAN *** Found Class 3 too tough last start but every chance back in what is a winnable grade – watch. 4.00
5 SACRED EMBLEM *** Back in trip not a worry as fresh, rarely runs a bad race and goes close here. 4.00
6 ACE ARMANDO ** Returned not striding last start so excuses and can run a cheeky race with blinkers added. 20
7 THE BIG DEE *** Freshened after a poor run but form prior has him some show and can follow over longer. 9.00
8 GALLANT FORCE * No. 100
9 SAVILHRO ** Better than what he showed last start stepping back up to Class 4 but place looks best. 33
10 GYPSY MAGIC * Prefer on the Poly in Class 5. 50
Selections; 1 RIO FORTUNE – 7 TOUGH RULER – 3 ROYAL COFFEE – 2 LUCKY DIAMOND
Although the form looks ordinary for RIO FORTUNE, the obvious fact that his only decent run of late was with Joao Moreira on-board suggests he can improve and win the lucky last. And this grade does look suitable so while he didn’t do a lot in Class 4 last start, his close up placing behind SHAOLIN SOLDIER in a BM74 fours start back easily good enough to win this. And there is question marks over most of these so why not take a punt a on a Moreira mount? Case in point is TOUGH RULER who basically took no part after blowing the start last time out but happy to think that was an anomaly and he is ready to show his best here. And given he scored a gutsy win on debut followed by a good run with excuses at his next start, an improved run here would not surprise. The newcomer ROYAL COFFEE also comes into consideration in what is (like the previous race) just a moderate Class 4 field with the tote a good guide. Throw in last start winner, LUCKY DIAMOND and HOOPER – both should go well with MY PREROGATIVE the long-shot hope for exotics.
1 RIO FORTUNE *** Disappointing last start similar race/gate but should be better than that and happy to give another chance in this company (recent placing with Moreira on-board). 3.50
2 LUCKY DIAMOND *** In form and no reason to think he isn’t right in this finish. 3.50
3 ROYAL COFFEE *** Former Australian who looks to have found light-on Class 4 race to make his Singapore debut and worth some thought with tote a good guide. 5.50
4 TRUMPADAL * Resuming sans blinkers after just one poor run in Singapore – not for me 100
5 FALLING ** Also resuming sans blinkers but looked in good enough form last campaign to think he is a horse to follow. 33
6 MY PREROGATIVE ** Form better than it reads and pay to follow at odds in a race with no depth. 20
7 TOUGH RULER *** Ignore last start where he blew the start and his chances as looks a handy type and will win this grade. 5.50
8 HOOPER *** Blinkers back on last start showed he is more than capable of winning in this company and goes close. 5.00
9 GOOD BOSS * Has speed but not often seen on this surface and happy to wait for suitable Poly race. 33
10 SHINKANSEN * Goes OK on his day but recent form suggests he looking for easier company than this. 33
11 TENTENWIN 8 Reassess Class 5, Poly and shorter. 100