Joao Moreira will break new ground in a star-studded career when he rides for racing powerhouse Godolphin at Rosehill.
Acknowledged as the best jockey in the world, Moreira will link with the Dubai-backed Godolphin team for the first time when he rides three John O’Shea-trained horses on Saturday.
Moreira’s Godolphin book includes Shards in the $1 million Golden Rose and it will be a case of the jockey making a belated appearance in Sheikh Mohammed’s colours.
“He was supposed to ride Brazen Beau for us in the Golden Jubilee Stakes at Royal Ascot but he couldn’t get a clearance from Hong Kong,” Godolphin’s Darren Beadman said.
Moreira quickly established himself as Hong Kong’s leading jockey after dominating the Singapore scene and he is one of the most sought-after riders for Australia’s major carnivals.
James McDonald is Godolphin’s No.1 Australian jockey, but Moreira’s ability to ride light is an obvious attraction for the glamour stable.
Moreira will ride Havana Cooler at 54.5kg for Godolphin in the Kingston Town Stakes and he will be on Vashka which has 53kg in the Theo Marks Stakes.
His other Rosehill rides will be Artibai for Kris Lees, Sebrina for Bjorn Baker and Slate On Edge for bush trainer Brett Thompson.
Artibai is favourite in a wide market for the Ranvet Handicap while Vashka is challenging for top billing in the Theo Marks.
Shards is rated one of the best of the outsiders as a $12 chance in the Golden Rose.