First Group 1 winner for Maurice

Japan's Horse of the Year and now Group 1 sire Maurice is currently serving his fourth Australian book of mares at Arrowfield. (PHOTO: Bronwen Healy)

3YO colt Pixie Knight became Maurice’s first Group 1 winner with a spectacular performance in Sunday’s ~A$3.1 million Nakayama Sprinters S. 1200m G1 that marks him as a new star in Japan.

Runner-up was the mare Resistencia (by Daiwa Major, sire of Maurice’s barn-mate Admire Mars), the 2019 Champion 2YO Filly  and a dual Group winner this year. Another 3YO, Mikki Isle’s multiple Group-winning daughter Meikei Yell was fourth, and the race favourite, last-start Group 1 winner Danon Smash was sixth.

Bred by Katsumi Yoshida’s Northern Racing & carrying the colours of Silk Racing, Pixie Knight won his 2YO debut in September 2020, and this year won a Group 3 mile before reverting to sprint distances. 

His jockey Yuichi Fukunaga indicated there is still plenty of development to come with the good-looking colt.  “He’s still not physically balanced yet but he will improve, mature and definitely become a target to beat in numerous future sprint races in or outside the country.” The Hong Kong Sprint G1 – won last year by Danon Smash and previously by Lord Kanaloa – is an obvious target. 

Pixie Knight is the second winner out of Pixie Hollow, a winning daughter of Dancing Brave’s son King Halo, and descended from the US Grade 1 winner A Kiss For Luck. 

Maurice leads Japan’s 2nd Season Sires’ list with ¥1.1 billion (~A$14.3 million) and three Group winners this year.

In Australia, the six-time Group 1 winner compiled six 2YO stakes performers in 2020/21, and has notched up 10 first-crop 3YO winners so far this Spring. 

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