It’s been a while since Joao Moreira has worn the Godolphin blue colours in a race in Australia.
The champion Hong Kong-based rider was called on as a back-up for James McDonald and made frequent trips to Sydney to wear the colours in the spring of 2015.
But with Godolphin using McDonald and flying in other retained riders James Doyle and William Buick, Moreira picked up rides for other stables including leading trainer Chris Waller later that spring.
He has since spread his wings wider and two weeks ago won the the Group One Oakleigh Plate on Sheidel for the Lindsay Park team of David and Ben Hayes and Tom Dabernig.
On Saturday, in the Group One Australian Cup at Flemington, Moreira will wear the Godolphin colours when he partners Tally in the 2000m-race.
McDonald is now sidelined by a ban for betting offences while Buick is riding for Godolphin in Sydney replacing the injured Doyle.
Tally is an $18 chance with the Darren Weir-trained Humidor and the Ciaron Maher-trained Jameka sharing favouritism at $3.90.
Trainer John O’Shea says Tally is primed for the race third-up from a spell.
First-up Tally ran third to Burning Front in the Carlyon Cup at Caulfield on February 11 before running seventh to Stratum Star in the Peter Young Stakes at Caulfield on February 25.
Importantly last campaign Tally ran third, at the third start of his campaign, in the Turnbull Stakes over 2000m at Flemington behind Hartnell and Jameka.
“He’s run third in a Group One Turnbull Stakes so he’s more than capable at this grade,” O’Shea said.
“He’s going to come to a nice peak. It’ll be interesting to see how the race pans out.
“If it’s a normal Australian Cup with no speed, he’ll take a forward position with Joao Moreira on his back and I think he can be competitive.”
Moreira will also wear the Godolphin colours on Fragonard in the Kewney Stakes and Circular in the Schweppervescence Trophy.No tags for this post.