Oct 17, 2016
NEWCASTLE: Monday, October 17, 2016: JOAO Moreira will ride Danish Twist when she chases a Group 1 triumph at Flemington on Saturday week.
Kris Lees this evening confirmed the Brazilian ace’s booking for the mare in the $500,000 Group 1 Myer Classic (1600m), run under weight-for-age conditions for fillies and mares.
The mount became available because of Damien Oliver’s suspension, and Lees wasted no time engaging the “Magic Man’s” services.
Oliver won the $400,000 Provincial Championships Final (1400m) at Royal Randwick in April on Danish Twist, and also rode her when fifth to Myer rival First Seal in the Group 2 Tristarc Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield last Saturday.
She drew the outside barrier, and came from last to be beaten just under two lengths.
Moreira, after taking all before him in Singapore between 2009-2013, relocated to Hong Kong three years ago and has won the last two premierships there.
He rode 145 winners in 2014-15 and bettered that with 168 last season.
And he is bringing current sensational form to Australia. Moreira has ridden nine winners at the last two Hong Kong meetings; five at Happy Valley last Wednesday evening and four at Sha Tin yesterday.
Lees was delighted with Danish Twist’s Tristarc performance, and has planned the Myer as her third and final start this preparation.
“She ran super last Saturday considering the circumstances of the race,” he said. “I always intended to give her only a light spring campaign and she will have a break after the Flemington race.”
Danish Twist resumed when a close third to Takedown and Our Boy Malachi (a brilliant Caulfield winner last Saturday) in the wfa Premiere Stakes (1200m) at Randwick on October 1.
Lees’ Cameron Handicap winner Absolutelyfabulous ran second to Forensics in the 2008 Myer Classic, when ridden by Corey Brown.
Meanwhile, stablemates Guard of Honour and Sense Of Occasion – both beaten but not disgraced at Randwick last Saturday – have concluded their current campaigns.
Guard Of Honour finished fourth to Hawkesbury filly Spright in the Listed Brian Crowley Stakes (1200m), and Lees immediately scrapped thoughts of sending him to Melbourne for Saturday week’s Group 1 Coolmore Stud Stakes (1200m) on the opening day of the Melbourne Cup carnival.
“It was a high-pressure race and he battled on to finish fourth,” Lees said. “That was only his fourth start and he lacks a bit of maturity at present.
“I’m sure he will come back a better horse.”
Sense Of Occasion ($3.70 favorite) finished fourth to veteran Junoob in the Listed City Tattersall’s Club Cup (2400m).
“He has done a good job this campaign, and will have a short break,” Lees said.
“We’ll target the Gosford Gold Cup (2100m) in January with him.”