New Group winner for Maurice
Within the same hour on Saturday, Maurice’s Australian daughter Ausbred Flirt finished a close second in the Angst S. G3 at Randwick, and his Japanese daughter Divina became his 19th stakeswinner and 14th Group winner.
The 5YO mare started joint favourite in the ~A$1 million Tokyo Fuchu Himba S. 1800m G2 and after 400 metres she insisted on taking over the lead where she settled sweetly for jockey Mirco Demuro. She rounded the turn with a clear lead and kept going gamely down the daunting Tokyo straight to score by a nose from Rouge Eveil and Lilac.
DIVINA is SW19 for Maurice making all in the Gr2 Fuchu Himba Stakes over 1800m
Dam Gr1 Verxina, 5th dam Glorious Song
— Pedigree Update (@pedigreeupdate) October 15, 2023
Demuro admitted after the race, “She has been very keen during workouts and she was keen during the race as well. She finally calmed down in the homestretch and ran well until the finish. We have always been second but glad to finally win a graded stakes.”
Bred by Northern Farm from the dual Group-winning mare Verxina (by Deep Impact), Divina placed twice in Group 3 miles in July and August, after winning four races at Chukyo as a 3YO & 4YO. Her Fuchu Himba win gains entry to the Queen Elizabeth II S. G1 for fillies and mares over 2200m at Kyoto on 12 November and her jockey doesn’t think the extra distance will be a problem for her.
Divina is Maurice’s 19th stakeswinner and his 11th in 2023 – a tally split between Japan (6) and Australia (5).
Ausbred Flirt, raced by her breeders Chris & Lyn Lawlor with Brae Sokolski’s YES Bloodstock, will undoubtedly have further chances to earn black capital status. In the meantime, she is nominated for the $2 million Five Diamonds on 11 November.
Maurice’s run of success continued on Monday when 3YO filly Genzano (a grand-daughter of international sprinting star Ortensia) and 4YO gelding Heika won at Scone for Paul Messara & Leah Gavranich.
Maurice’s progeny return to the Australian yearling market in 2024.