Retirement on hold for top Jockey

Dubai Duty Free Shergar Cup Joao Moreira

On the eve of his third Dubai Duty Free Shergar Cup appearance, Joao Moreira revealed that his plan to quit the saddle later this year has been put on hold.  

The Brazilian sensation, who has earned the nickname ‘Magic Man’ thanks to his exploits in the Far East, which included a record-breaking nine-year stint in Hong Kong that came to an end last year, said:

“It has been five years since I was last at Ascot – it feels like time has flown! It is nice to be back, it is such a beautiful place, the racecourse itself is amazing, and not least the riders I will be riding with – they are the best of the best. 

“Being invited to the Dubai Duty Free Shergar Cup makes you feel proud of yourself. You are riding against some of the best jockeys in the world. For me, Frankie [Dettori] is the best jockey in the history of the sport. I have been watching him since I was an apprentice and, when I have the opportunity to ride with him, I am very proud. 


“I think my greatest achievement is riding eight winners on a card in three different countries. That is the most difficult achievement of my career I would say. I would be very proud of winning just once on Saturday! It is so difficult to win and you need so much luck.” 

Joao Moreira
Joao Moreira 

On his decision to relinquish his Hong Kong license last year, he said:

“I was struggling with hip injuries at the end of last year, which I am not over yet but there is no doubt that I am a lot better than I was. I was thinking about quitting riding but, once I started getting better, I felt I could push on for a bit longer.

Moreira then took a period of recuperation, which appears to have acted in his favour:

“I was really struggling with my hip, but now I am OK. I have a team of doctors working on it with me and they have got me into a shape where I feel like I can do a bit longer. I won’t just retire there and then. I will have a feel of it coming to a close and maybe announce it to everyone three months beforehand. I feel like I can do at least another 18 months if things stay as they are, but the doctors do say that it is not going to get any better.

“I was struggling more psychologically, whereas now I am so much better up here in my mind. The medical procedures have helped a lot and I am now excited to be on a horse’s back every time I get on.

“It is very unlikely that I will go back to Hong Kong. I will be doing stints in different places. I really want to go back to Australia. Then you have Dubai and Japan, which I think is one of the best places to ride in the world.  

One of Ascot’s most popular events of the year, the Dubai Duty Free Shergar Cup offers a day full of excitement on and off the track. Click here to learn about the Raceday.

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