Racing News  

Magic from Moreira as Supernova stars for So in Panasonic Cup

12/11/2016

By Andrew Hawkins

Racing Supernova belied distance concerns and proved himself a horse with plenty of promise with a Class 1 Panasonic Cup Handicap (1400m) win at Sha Tin today (Saturday, 12 November) that capped a banner day for jockey Joao Moreira while providing a first for trainer Chris So.

Racing Supernova (119lb) was sent out a heavily backed 4/1 third favourite and raced away to take the Panasonic Cup by a length and a quarter over the popular elect, John Moore’s Mr Bogart (128lb), with classy Ricky Yiu-trained Blizzard (132lb) a further three-quarters of a length away in third.

It was one of five winners for Moreira, who also recorded three narrow seconds, while it was a first Class 1 victory for handler So.

“I really wanted to win but I knew it was a tough race – Blizzard is a Group horse and Mr Bogart had good form,” So said. “I thought if my horse could finish near them, it would be a great effort. But to win … I’m so excited for the owners and I hope there is more to come.”

The main query with the five-year-old was the distance, with the son of Duporth extending out to 1400m for the first time. However, he showed those queries were unfounded, racing midfield on the fence before showing a nice turn of foot to burst clear.

“It’s proven now, 1400m is no problem!” Moreira said with a smile post-race. “He travelled well through the run, although he still does a few things wrong. He doesn’t really ping out of the gate, but today, that probably worked out good for him because he was able to get to the fence, save ground, and there was plenty of room for him to be able to improve through.”

“At the finish, I was full of horse underneath me, he just didn’t let us down. He’s a lovely horse going forward, and it was a great job from Chris preparing him for this race.”

“A lot of people wanted me to keep him to the 1000m, but every time he raced down the straight he seemed to find a lot of trouble,” So added. “He didn’t have room, he’d only get clear late, and it was becoming tough. Every time he’d run over the 1200m, he’d run well, and so I knew the bend was no concern – if anything, he looked like he needed further and he wouldn’t hit top gear until the race was over. I thought the tempo over 1400m might even be better if he could sprint like he did over shorter trips.”

Moreira jumped aboard Racing Supernova for the first time this season after Zac Purton had ridden the horse at his first two efforts this term, but So said it was only a matter of weight that forced the jockey switch.

“I would have liked Zac to ride but I knew there was a possibility the horse could get 116 pounds in this race so I approached Joao,” he said. “I knew Joao could make the weight and so Zac knew after last start that he would have to give up the ride here. Otherwise, he would have been on, he’s won on the horse twice, so I feel a bit sorry for Zac.”

The comfortable victory opened up plenty of doors for Racing Supernova, with the gelding now likely to be in triple figures in the ratings and connections potentially dreaming of big-race targets – although So was quick to suggest that the LONGINES Hong Kong International Races would likely be a target for 2017, rather than this term.

“We’ll just wait and see, the owners are thinking about whether to enter for the Hong Kong Mile but it might come up too soon,” he said, suggesting another race on 11 December could instead be more suitable before he makes the leap to stakes company in the G3 Chinese Club Challenge Cup (1400m) on New Year’s Day. “The Class One over 1400 metres on international day is always a nice race and he should still get in with a nice weight,  so I think we’ll probably head there and then maybe we can look at the Group 3 over 1400 metres in January.”

“I think 1400 metres is his distance anyway, for now at least. In time, we can try the mile, but he looks to have plenty of promise over this trip. As it is, I didn’t enter him for the internationals the first time around because I thought it would be too soon and I didn’t think the races would suit him, not yet. There’s plenty of time for that.”

For Moreira, Racing Supernova was just one of five winners on the day, as he notched a Jockey Challenge score of 82 points – a total that has only been bettered twice in the last five seasons. And the rider came close to record-breaking territory, with three seconds by a nose, a short head and a head.

The Brazilian rider opened the day with wins in the first two races on Peter Ho’s High Speed Metro (116lb) in the Class 5 Panasonic Robot Cleaner Handicap (2000m) and John Size-trained House Of Fun (133lb) in the Class 4 Panasonic Front Loading Washing Machine Handicap (1200m), before making it three on Electronic Phoenix (133lb) for Benno Yung in the fifth, the Class 4 Panasonic Facial Ionic Steamer Handicap (1650m) on the all-weather track.

Racing Supernova brought up win number four for the Magic Man, before he notched his quintet with promising Western Express (125lb), who made his local debut for John Size in the Class 3 Panashop 30th Anniversary Handicap (1200m).

Moreira’s most narrow defeat came in the Class 3 Panasonic Smaller Heat-Pump Air Conditioner Handicap (1000m), when Nash Rawiller managed to get everything out of another Hong Kong debutant in Water Diviner (124lb) to hold off the Magic Man on Fortune Bo Bo (115lb) by a nose.

“I thought I was going to win by a neck or a long neck past the 100 metres,” Rawiller said. “The horse travelled really well under me, but he definitely started to blow out 50 metres from home, Joao’s just found a bit and mine started to peak. But I thought his effort was good, we always knew he would improve for the run – I’ve ridden him in a lot of his work here, and he gave me a feel like he would be better for it, so to win first time out is a promising sign.”

It was Rawiller’s 16th win for the season, and the Australian rider currently holds down third on the jockeys’ championship behind Moreira (39) and compatriot Zac Purton (19).

“I feel like I’m riding very well at the moment, and I’m getting a lot of support,” Rawiller said. “There have been a couple of placings too, but I feel that my horses are running well and I hope that I’m keeping people happy.”

Hong Kong racing continues at Happy Valley on Wednesday night, 16 November, with the first race set for 7:15pm.

Photo 1,2<br>
Joao Moreira-ridden Racing Supernova (No. 9) wins this year��s Panasonic Cup at Sha Tin Racecourse today.
Photo 1:
Photo 1,2
Joao Moreira-ridden Racing Supernova (No. 9) wins this year��s Panasonic Cup at Sha Tin Racecourse today.


Photo 2

Connections of Racing Supernova pose for a winning photo in the winner��s circle.
Photo 3:
Connections of Racing Supernova pose for a winning photo in the winner��s circle.

Tetsuro Homma (front row, third from right), President of Panasonic Corporation Appliances Company, presents the Panasonic Cup trophy to Ng Chit Yam and Wu Chak Man, the owners of winning horse Racing Supernova.
Photo 4:
Tetsuro Homma (front row, third from right), President of Panasonic Corporation Appliances Company, presents the Panasonic Cup trophy to Ng Chit Yam and Wu Chak Man, the owners of winning horse Racing Supernova.

David Mong, Chairman & CEO of Shun Hing Group (right of front row) presents the trophy to winning trainer Chris So.
Photo 5:
David Mong, Chairman & CEO of Shun Hing Group (right of front row) presents the trophy to winning trainer Chris So.

Cynthia Mong, Director of Shun Hing Electronic Trading Co., Ltd., presents the trophy to winning jockey Joao Moreira.
Photo 6:
Cynthia Mong, Director of Shun Hing Electronic Trading Co., Ltd., presents the trophy to winning jockey Joao Moreira.

All smiles for the cameras at the Panasonic Cup presentation ceremony.
Photo 7:
All smiles for the cameras at the Panasonic Cup presentation ceremony.

Management of the Shun Hing Group and The Hong Kong Jockey Club, as well as the winning connections of Racing Supernova, join together in celebrating the success of Panasonic Cup today.
Photo 8:
Management of the Shun Hing Group and The Hong Kong Jockey Club, as well as the winning connections of Racing Supernova, join together in celebrating the success of Panasonic Cup today.

Mr Terrence Chan, Vice Chairman of Shun Hing Group (right), presents a prize of HK$1,500 and a Panasonic Slow Juicer to the Stable Assistant responsible for Mr Bogart, the best turned out horse in the Panasonic Cup.
Photo 9:
Mr Terrence Chan, Vice Chairman of Shun Hing Group (right), presents a prize of HK$1,500 and a Panasonic Slow Juicer to the Stable Assistant responsible for Mr Bogart, the best turned out horse in the Panasonic Cup.

 

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