Maurice 2YOs kick up in Queensland

Maurice has now had 67 2YO runners in Australia for 18 winners and 10 stakes performers including Azula and Namesake. (PHOTO: Bronwen Healy)

Maurice has underlined his exceptional versatility as a sire with two juvenile stakeswinners, taking his overall tally to 15, on successive weekends at the Queensland Winter Carnival.

First the filly Azula claimed The Phoenix 1500m LR at Eagle Farm on 3 June and now, a week later, the Arrowfield-bred colt Namesake has added the $160,000 Oxlade S. 1300m LR to his CV. 

Co-trainer Ciaron Maher said, “He hasn’t had the last couple of races go his way. He drew well today and was always going to get a nice run with a beautiful ride by Mark Zahra.

“He’s really maturing through the prep, and I think he’ll have a little break now and likely get ready for the Spring.”

Namesake as a yearling at the 2022 Inglis Classic Sale where he and Azula were each sold for $100,000. (PHOTO: Celia Cole)

Namesake is a younger full brother of Bank Maur, winner of the Alister Clark S. G2 in March and together they have given their dam Banksia (by Redoute’s Choice) a dream start to her stud career. 

Banksia, a three-quarter sister to Group 1 winner & sire Foxwedge, was a $380,000 Magic Millions yearling purchase by agent John Warren for Arrowfield and Alan Jones’ Belford Productions.

She was trained by Paul Messara to win two of her 5 starts before visiting Maurice and in 2020, Written Tycoon, with the resulting filly sold for $120,000 by Collingrove Stud (as agent for Arrowfield) to Kendrick Racing  at this year’s Magic Millions Adelaide Sale. Banksia is now in foal to Japan’s Champion 2YO Colt and three-time Group 1 winner Admire Mars. 

Maurice was Australia’s Champion Second Season Sire last season and, with $10.2 million prizemoney, heads this season’s list for sires with three crops of racing age. These achievements are all the more notable because Maurice’s first three crops totalled 206 live foals – fewer than half the number of foals representing his closest rival Capitalist. 

It’s also clear that Maurice is working brilliantly with Redoute’s Choice mares who have supplied 17 winners from 21 runners by him, including three-time Group 1 winner Hitotsu, Bank Maur, Namesake, Azula and Group performers Foujita San and Matcha Latte.

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