Brazilian jockey Joao Moreira has joined rarefied air after becoming just the fourth-ever hoop to ride 900 winners in Hong Kong.
After steering five-winners home at Sha Tin on Sunday, Moreira now joins Douglas Whyte, Zac Purton and Tony Cruz as the only riders to pass the milestone.
Moreira finished the day on 901 wins and has the chance to leap into third spot in the all-time Hong Kong standings by the end of the season with Cruz’s 946 wins within firm grasp.
Moreira’s 900 win was declared after a photo finish aboard John Size-trained Picken in the Nam Shan Handicap was deemed in his favour.
Moreira told the South China Morning Post he had no idea he was so close to the 900-win milestone.
“Honestly I wasn’t counting, I wasn’t aware I was close to 900, so when I was told I was surprised and very pleased,” Moreira said.
“Jockeys from all around the world would love to reach this mark in Hong Kong and I’ve been very blessed to get to it.”
Moreira regained the lead in the Hong Kong jockeys’ premiership with his five-win haul. But he said he would continue to look forward rather than back on his milestone.
“It’s a great mark that I’m very pleased with, but I want to look over my shoulder at it, I don’t want to get stuck,” he said.
“I don’t set goals; my goal is to be consistent. When things aren’t playing out the way I want them to as far as winners, I jump on it and work very hard to turn it around as quickly as possible.
“To me, what matters is being consistent.”
Purton booted home a double on Band Of Brothers and Grade One to finish the day on 92 wins for the season, which left him two wins behind Moreira in the Hong Kong jockeys’ premiership race.
Moreira’s career strike rate sits just shy of 22% from 4,094 career rides.