Brazilian jockey Joao Moreira at Flemington Racecourse last year.
Brazilian jockey Joao Moreira at Flemington Racecourse last year. TRACEY NEARMY

Hong Kong's best hoop bound for Melbourne Cup

THE man many pundits consider to be the world's best jockey has been booked to ride Melbourne Cup plunge horse Heartbreak City.

It will be the third Melbourne Cup ride for Brazilian jockey Joao Moreira, Hong Kong's premier rider and the winner of major races around the world, after his fourth on Signoff in 2014 and 14th last year on The United States.

Heartbreak City, who is due to arrive in Melbourne on Saturday with fellow Cup contenders Big Orange, Bondi Beach, Beautiful Romance and Secret Number, will carry 53kg in the Melbourne Cup and has shortened in the betting remarkably after opening at $151 with some operators.

Yesterday afternoon, Ladbrokes had him on the third line of betting at $13.

Trained by Tony Martin, Heartbreak City earned the trip to Melbourne by winning Europe's richest handicap, last month's Ebor (2816m), by four lengths, following two wins over the hurdles.

Australian Thoroughbred Bloodstock has since bought a share in Heartbreak City, hoping he can emulate the feat of Irish stayer/hurdler Vintage Crop, the winner of the 1993 Melbourne Cup.

ATB has made the Cup a priority in recent years and gone close with imports Jakkalberry (third in 2012) and Dandino (fifth in 2013).

Moreira has dominated Hong Kong racing since arriving for the 2013-14 season. Having missed the start of that season, he finished on 97 winners, before setting a record in 2014-15 with 145 winners and breaking it last season with 168.


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