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Moreira guides Savanna Amour to victory

Champion jockey Joao Moreira has combined with Melbourne Cup-winning trainer John Meagher for Group race success on Blue Diamond Stakes day at Caulfield.

Moreira, the champion jockey in Hong Kong who has been dubbed “the Magic Man”, finished runner-up in his first two rides on Saturday before getting the best out of three-year-old filly Savanna Amour in the Group Two Angus Armanasco Stakes (1400m).

Savanna Amour ($6.50) got home by a short head over West Australian filly Ellicazoom, while Oregon’s Day was another short-half head away in third.

The race changed complexion after pre-race favourite Fuhryk was scratched on veterinarian’s advice after rearing up in the barriers.

Meagher trains in partnership with his son Chris in Queensland after successfully training in Singapore.

When based in Victoria, Meagher won the Melbourne Cup with What A Nuisance in 1985.

He said it was fantastic to be back in the winner’s stall in Melbourne.

“Thank god the Magic Man rode her,” Meagher said.

“He rode her well but she’s a decent filly, too.

“Joao’s last three rides for me (in Singapore) were winners and now it’s four wins.”

Moreira said he did not ride a lot for Meagher when he was based in Singapore but their strike rate was good.

Savanna Amour carries the gold colours of Ontrack Thoroughbreds and Moreira is no stranger to big race success in those hues.

He wore them to victory in the Group One Coolmore Stud Stakes and Group One Newmarket Handicap in Melbourne aboard Brazen Beau during the 2014/15 season.

Moreira said Savanna Amour showed what she was capable of on Saturday.

“She’s got a big heart,” he said.

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