(Screen Hero-Mejiro Frances, by Carnegie)
Stands 2017 at Arrowfield Stud, NSW, for $33,000
There is only one “Beast from the East” and that’s Maurice, six-time Group 1 winner, international superstar miler and Japan’s 2015 Horse of the Year.
Maurice won both of Japan’s top-rated mile races in 2015, the Yasuda Kinen G1 and the Kyoto Mile Championship G1, then stormed to global stardom in the Hong Kong Mile G1, beating subsequent Group 1 winner Sea Defence and Hong Kong Champion Able Friend.
Maurice returned to Sha Tin in May 2016 for an imperious two-length victory in the Champions Mile, cutting out the final 400 metres in 21.79 and leaving beaten jockey Brett Prebble to declare him “a machine.”
He prepared for his third and final Hong Kong campaign with three runs in Japan, including a victory in the 2000-metre Tokyo Tenno Sho (Autumn) G1. That set the scene for Maurice’s sensational swansong in the 2016 Hong Kong Cup G1 where he powered away from nine Group 1 winners to score by three lengths in 2:00.95.
His jockey that day, two-time Longines World Champion Ryan Moore, gave a final assessment of Maurice the racehorse. "He was just an outstanding looking horse. He has a fantastic mind, he always wanted to win. He put everything into his races. He was really powerful, travelled wherever you wanted him to and he had a fantastic turn of foot."
His dominance in six elite contests, four of them at 1600 metres and all rated among the world’s Top 100 Group 1 races, earned Maurice acclaim as an all-time hero of Japanese racing. Honoured with a Special JRA Award and a farewell ceremony at Nakayama, he retired with 11 wins and more than $A12 million prizemoney from 18 starts.
Maurice was awarded a figure of 127 on the 2016 Longines World’s Best Racehorse Rankings, placing him fifth overall, and third on turf in the world.
Nominations for Maurice’s first stud season at Japan’s Shadai Stallion Station were quickly snapped up and he was fully booked at a fee of ¥4 million (~$50,000). Renowned international owner and breeder Katsumi Yoshida has sent him Horse of the Year and 7-time Group 1 winner Gentildonna, while his Australian launch is backed by Arrowfield’s allocation of more than 30 mares for his 2017 book.
From a well-established Japanese female family, Maurice is a son of Japan Cup winner Screen Hero from the Turn-To sire-line, whose other members include More Than Ready, Deep Impact, Red Ransom and Zabeel.
*All data courtesy Arion Pedigrees