Wiser Moreira has faith in Time Warp’s future ahead of BOCHK Jockey Club Cup

By David Morgan
A wiser Joao Moreira will partner Time Warp in the G2 BOCHK Jockey Club Cup (2000m) at Sha Tin Racecourse on Sunday, 19 November.
Hong Kong’s Champion Jockey was aboard Tony Cruz’s charge in a race for the first time in the G3 Sa Sa Ladies’ Purse Handicap (1800m) two weeks ago. The Brazilian guided his front-running partner to what appeared to be a winning advantage mid-way down the home straight, but the even-money favourite faltered and was unable to repel the late thrust of Nassa. Moreira and Time Warp failed by a head.
“I believe I only got beaten on him because I didn’t know him,” Moreira said. “If I’d have ridden him before, I think I would have been able to get out of him that little bit extra, enough to get him there.”
Despite defeat, Moreira, on reflection, was pleased with the strapping chestnut’s effort. The British import shouldered 123lb, a full 8lb more than the winner in what was a high-class handicap.
“I thought that was an amazing performance by him. I was expecting him to be able to do that based on how he had been going,” he said.
Time Warp has taken a roundabout route to Sunday’s scheduled first start in Group 2. The four-year-old, a €37,000 yearling, began his career with Sir Mark Prescott in England, the man responsible for guiding the early career of Hong Kong champion Viva Pataca.
He won a Class 6 Southwell maiden by six lengths at his fifth start as a juvenile in 2015 and proceeded to rattle off a five-timer before being sold to race in Hong Kong. The galloper closed his European schooling with a brace of Listed wins at Craon and Saint-Cloud in France, the latter being his sole three-year-old start.
Time Warp now sports the high-profile red and black silks of Martin Siu.
The Archipenko gelding took time to acclimatise to Hong Kong racing. Seven races went by before a course record-setting breakthrough win over 1800m at Happy Valley back in June, which triggered a quick hat-trick before last season’s end.
Two placed efforts in G3 handicaps this term suggest the galloper is still on an upward curve, and the step up to 2000m could assist that progression.
 ”Now the competition is going to be a little bit stronger but I have faith in him and I think he’s going to be right there with a chance on Sunday. I see the extra distance as an even better thing for him,” Moreira said.
“It all depends on how many horses will be attacking him for the lead. He didn’t have an easy time in front last time and if that happens again he might find it tough. If he gets a nice run, whatever comes to challenge him will have to finish really strongly to go past him because he’s a tough horse.”
Time Warp is among nine entries for the BOCHK Jockey Club Cup, the prime lead-up race for next month’s G1 LONGINES Hong Kong Cup (2000m) and G1 LONGINES Hong Kong Vase (2400m). The contest has also attracted Hong Kong’s former Horse of the Year Werther – the only horse set to carry a 5lb G1 penalty – and last year’s winner Secret Weapon.
Time Warp’s Ladies’ Purse conqueror, Nassa, G1-placed in South Africa, is also engaged, as are the Royal Ascot winner Gold Mount and last year’s G1 Grand Prix de Paris scorer, Helene Charisma.
Joyful Trinity takes positive trials into G2 BOCHK Wealth Management Jockey Club Mile
By David Morgan
Those who pay attention to the Hong Kong Jockey Club’s barrier trial videos, posted online at www.hkjc.com, should not be surprised to learn that trainer John Moore believes Joyful Trinity has a sound chance of success in Sunday’s (19 November) G2 BOCHK Wealth Management Jockey Club Mile at Sha Tin Racecourse.
Moore, in fact, is of the view that his charge should not be overlooked in next month’s (10 December) G1 LONGINES Hong Kong Mile either. And it is the gelding’s eye-catching displays in morning trials this term that has fostered a general positivity about a horse that, thus far, has been an afterthought leading into championship events.
“I think he has it in him to nick one of these big races, even a Group 1. If he draws well and gets the right run, he’s going to pick one up. It wouldn’t be a surprise if he popped up and beat them all one day,” Moore said.
Joyful Trinity’s latest barrier trial, a 1000m turf hit out down the Sha Tin straight, saw the five-year-old Irish-bred cruise home from deep to pass the post fifth of 13. That classy spectacle might be deemed a little illusory, given the inferiority of the Zanzibari gelding’s fellow triallists, but his time, 59.64s, stood up well against top-class peers in the morning’s other batches: stablemates Werther and Helene Paragon clocked 59.54 and 1m 00.14s, respectively.
“Joyful Trinity trialled the best of mine last week – his turf trial was by far the best,” Moore said.
That was the bay’s third smart barrier trial this season and his first since a comeback 11th of 13 under 130lb in the G2 Sha Tin Trophy Handicap (1600m) last month. Joyful Trinity had not raced since a stress fracture was discovered in his off hind after a close third behind Helene Paragon in the G1 Queen’s Silver Jubilee Cup (1400m) in February.
That was one of three placed efforts in the highest grade last term. Third behind Beauty Only in the G1 LONGINES Hong Kong Mile (1600m), when a 14/1 shot, preceded a second-place finish to Helene Paragon as a 17/1 chance in January’s G1 Stewards’ Cup (1600m). Each time, Joyful Trinity was no more than a length off victory.
“He’s a very genuine conveyance and always gives his best so I’m expecting him to run a big race this weekend,” Moore said. “It’s a matter of getting lucky with the draw now and enjoying some luck in the run, too. Gerald Mosse knows him like family.”
Frenchman Mosse will fly in to renew his regular partnership with Joyful Trinity, a G3 winner in France pre-import. Umberto Rispoli was aboard for the former Andre Fabre inmate’s latest race, while Moore’s stable jockey Tommy Berry took the reins for the most recent barrier trial.
Berry is set to partner Helene Paragon in Sunday’s mile feature. The entries also include last year’s winner and G1 LONGINES Hong Kong Mile victor Beauty Only, as well as the rising talents Beauty Generation, Seasons Bloom and Western Express.
Sunday’s action also features the G2 BOCHK Jockey Club Cup (2000m) and G2 BOCHK Wealth Management Jockey Club Sprint (1200m).
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