Magic Man Calls Time On Race Riding

At the age of 38 he has had enough

In news that has surprised many, multiple champion jockey Joao Moreira has handed in his Hong Kong licence and is planning a global farewell tour beginning at Sha Tin next month.

The Brazilian, known as the ‘Magic Man’ has been recuperating in his home country since undergoing platelet-rich plasma therapy on his troublesome left hip in September, and he has not ridden since the Happy Valley meeting on September 21.

Joao Moreira – a great talent that will be sorely missed (Pic – HKJC)

The South China Morning Post reports that Moreira has spoken previously about the mental toll of being a jockey in Hong Kong, especially throughout the coronavirus pandemic, which involved months of brutal lockdowns earlier this year for those inside the Jockey Club’s “racing bubble”.

He has also outlined the mental stress that came with being alone in Hong Kong after his family returned to Brazil in June, citing it as one of the predominant factors behind his decision to move home.

“I appreciate everything Hong Kong has done for me, and I’m not leaving with any bad feelings in mind,” the 39-year-old told the Post.

“Overall, Hong Kong has contributed to my life so positively, but I’m dealing with some physical and personal problems. Unfortunately, some changes had to be made and that includes me not being based in Hong Kong any more.”

He has ridden a total of 1,234 winners in the region, where he stands third all-time in career victories behind multiple champions Douglas Whyte and Moreira’s nemesis Zac Purton.

He set an HK record when riding eight winners on a single card at Sha Tin on March 5, 2017 and had achieved a similar feat at Kranji in Singapore, where he was three-time champion before moving to the white-hot cauldron of racing in Hong Kong.

Moreira is planning to ride at next month’s Longines Hong Kong International Races, committing to partner Japanese gallopers Resistencia and Lei Papale.

The Sporting Post is endeavouring to obtain an update on Karis Teetan who has not ridden since landing a treble on 18 September, with the ‘Mauritian Magician’ finding out the following day that he is suffering from thyrotoxicosis – a condition in which one has too much thyroid hormone in the body.

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