Maurice crowned a day of champions at Sha Tin on 1 May 2016 with a superlative victory in the $HK14 million (~$A2.3 million) Champions Mile 1600m G1.
“He was brilliant!” said winning rider Joao Moreira. “A machine,” was the verdict of Brett Prebble who had the closest view of Maurice’s powerful hindquarters in the run home – he was two lengths away, on board the valiant Arrowfield graduate Contentment.
Moreira enjoyed an untroubled passage on the Mrs Kazumi Yoshida’s entire, only the second overseas winner of the race after Variety Club in 2014.
Settled a handy fourth, with Contentment inside and clear ground outide him, Maurice tracked the pace-setting Beauty Flame and close attendant Rewarding Hero, then eased three wide on the turn for home as the front pair began to toil.
With Beauty Flame mining his last reserves at the 300-metre point, Moreira shook the reins and Maurice responded with alacrity, and within fifty metres Japan’s hero had sealed the result. He cut out the final 400 metres in a searing 21.79 to score in a time of 1:34.08.
Moreira said, “He was lucky to get such a good position in the race, which gave me plenty of options to put him out whenever I wanted.
“He gave me so much confidence that he was going to get there any time that I was going to press the button. When I gave him the daylight he just started to get going by himself and showed what he is capable of. He’s a lovely horse and I think he can step up to a longer distance. I’m very blessed to have been given an opportunity to ride this horse today.”