Australian Horse Racing: Maurice Takes up Duties at Arrowfield Stud
Champion Miler and six-time Group 1 winner Maurice will shuttle to Arrowfield from the 2017 southern hemisphere breeding season onwards. Maurice was named Japan’s 2015 Horse of the Year, Champion Sprinter & Champion Miler. He was also honoured with a Special JRA Award for his 2016 victories in the Tokyo Tenno Sho G1, Hong Kong Champions Mile G1 & his sensational swansong, the Longines Hong Kong Cup G1 at Sha Tin in December.
Maurice retires with a record of 11 wins, six at Group 1 level, including four at 1600 metres, and prizemoney exceeding A$12 million. On the 2016 Longines World’s Best Racehorse Rankings he has been awarded a figure of 127, placing him fifth overall, and third on turf in the world.
Arrowfield’s Chairman John Messara says, “Nobody could fail to be impressed by Maurice’s extraordinary performances at the highest level.
“We are privileged to have the opportunity to stand the Yoshidas’ charismatic superstar whose physique, 1600-metre dominance and Danehill-free status make him a wonderful addition to our roster.”
He will stand at Arrowfield at a fee of $A33,000 inc GST alongside dual Group 1 winner Real Impact, bred and also raced by the Yoshida family. Maurice is fully booked for his first northern hemisphere season in 2017 at Shadai Stallion Station.
Renowned international owner and breeder Katsumi Yoshida, has given Maurice the best possible endorsement by sending him two-time Horse of the Year and 7-time Group 1 winner Gentildonna (by Deep Impact). He says, “She is the best mare I own, she will be covered by Maurice.”
Unbeaten in Hong Kong after three monstrous performances in the 2015 Hong Kong Mile, 2016 Champions Mile & 2016 Hong Kong Cup adding to his three Japanese Group 1 victories, Maurice won admirers the world over. Champion jockey Joao Moreira, who rode Maurice to win the 2015 Hong Kong Champions Mile G1, says, “He is a beautiful horse. He’s got a great body, he has strength and he moves like a real champion horse. He is undoubtedly right up there with the best I have ridden.”
Two-time Longines World Champion jockey Ryan Moore, who piloted Maurice to victory twice in Hong Kong, as well as in the 2015 Kyoto Mile Championship G1 and 2016 Tokyo Tenno Sho G1, spoke about what made him exceptional during a retirement celebration held at Nakayama on 15 January.
“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.”
The jockeys and trainers of his defeated rivals also enthused about Maurice, who was unbeaten in three Hong Kong Group 1 appearances.
Leading Australian and Hong Kong Jockey Brett Prebble described Maurice simply, “A machine.”
Champion Hong Kong trainer John Moore told visiting Japanese media, “He’s a great specimen of a horse and a tremendous racehorse… I wouldn’t hesitate to send a mare to him. I hope you’ve got yourselves another Deep Impact.”
South China Morning Post racing journalist Michael Cox wrote, “The horse that looks indestructible and races accordingly.”