On the record: Joao Moreira, Christophe Clement, Todd Pletcher and more …

• The week’s significant milestones

Horse Racing Joao Moreira jockey
Joao Moreira celebrates after his five-timer at Sha Tin on Sunday. Photo: HKJC

900 Joao Moreira

Hong Kong: With a five-timer at Sha Tin on Sunday [March 29], Joao Moreira became only the fourth jockey ever to reach the 900-winner mark in Hong Kong after Tony Cruz, Douglas Whyte and Zac Purton.

The Brazilian ‘Magic Man’ is now in only his seventh season in Hong Kong, where his strike rate is just short of 22 per cent. He reached 900 with his fourth winner, Picken, in a 7f handicap; he also regained the lead in the HK jockeys’ title race with 94 victories compared to Purton’s 92.

2,000 Christophe Clement

USA: Hugely respected trainer Christophe Clement recorded the 2,000th success of his North American career with an across-the-card double on Friday (March 27). Clement reached 1,999 when Parish Poet won a maiden at Tampa Bay Downs before Gufo got up close home to win the nightcap at Gulfstream Park.

Best known for turf champion Gio Ponti, a seven-time G1 winner, the 54-year-old scored his first US win in October 1991 at his home track Belmont Park.

“As a trainer you go to work and say let’s try to win every day,” Clement said. “It’s meaningful because it’s a lot of wins. I feel great, I’m not too old, I think the stable is stronger than ever, let’s keep going.”

Horse Racing Christophe Clement trainer
Christophe Clement: reached 2,000-winner mark last week. Photo: NYRA/Coglianese Photos

16 Todd Pletcher

USA: Unlike the majority of the racing world, Gulfstream’s 2019-20 Championship Meet went on almost uninterrupted before Sunday’s final card (March 29), after which perennial champion trainer Todd Pletcher reclaimed top spot with 48 winners. 

The holder of a record seven Eclipse Awards as champion North American trainer, Pletcher’s winning streak of 15 consecutive Gulfstream titles was ended the previous winter. The identity of the trainer who broke Pletcher’s run in 2018-19 may now be of significant interest: Jorge ‘asterisk’ Navarro.

Reigning US champion Irad Ortiz, who is currently not riding owing to the coronavirus crisis, held off Luis Saez to retain the Gulfstream jockeys’ title by 115-113.

Horse Racing Todd Pletcher trainer
Todd Pletcher: regained trainers’ title at Gulfstream. Photo: Gulfstream Park

11,559 Racing Post

GB: A sad development as the Racing Post stopped publishing its newspaper version with last Thursday’s issue numbered 11,559 owing to economic pressures amid the coronavirus crisis that has prorogued the sport in Britain and Ireland. Widely respected as the world’s leading racing daily, the Post continues as a digital version – and vows to return once racing resumes.

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