International jockey of the moment Joao Moreira will be the star attraction a this week’s two-day carnival at Newcastle with local trainer Kris Lees snapping up his services.
Originally from Brazil, Moreira is mooted to be taking up a Hong Kong contract next month after four years at the top in Singapore.
He has been successful in Australia in the past when brought here by Nathan Tinkler to ride under his Patinack Farm banner, with his most notable wins coming on Trusting in the Chelmsford and Hill Stakes two years ago.
Moreira has been lured here this time by Australian Bloodstock who will run their second stringer Pirate Bay in Wednesday’s Cameron Handicap after his fellow import suffered a minor setback at the weekend.
Salon Soldier became cast in his box at the weekend and Lees said his Australian debut would be delayed by around 10 days.
The Gai Waterhouse-trained Spurtonic is the early $4.20 favourite for the Group Three Cameron (1500m) with the winner of the race exempt from a ballot on the Epsom Handicap.
Spurtonic is equal 76th in the Epsom order of entry and has been given 52kg in the Group One mile on October 5 at Randwick.
That’s A Good Idea from the Joe Pride stable also has 52kg in the Epsom and is the second elect for the Cameron at $6.50.
Guy Walter’s leading Epsom contender Toydini has been given no favours in the Cameron with barrier 15 of 18 with his stablemate Willy Jimmy drawing the outside.
The Group Three Spring Stakes (1600m) for three-year-olds on Wednesday attracted a field of 15 with Moreira to ride the Tinkler-owned John Thompson-trained Hooked.
The Peter Moody-trained Stamina, a last-start winner at Rosehill, is the market leader at $4.80.
The winner of the Spring Stakes is exempt from ballot on the Group One Spring Champion Stakes (2000m) on October 12.
Moreira will ride Sharnee Rose for Lees in Thursday’s Tibbie Stakes and Pretty Pins for the Tinkler-Thompson combination in the Newcastle Cup.