300th stakes win for Redoute's Choice

Hong Kong’s Champion Griffin of 2014/15 has taken a little while to fulfil his undoubted promise, but on Sunday evening Thewizardoz turned promise into dazzling reality.

His victory in the 1400-metre HKJC Premier Cup G3 was notable on three counts: his 3.5 length winning margin, his winning time of 1:20.86 and the 6 kg he conceded to runner-up and hot favourite Winner’s Way.

Watch Thewizardofoz win the HKJC Premier Cup G3.

The 5YO gelding brought up a couple of important milestones for two legends of global racing. It was the 92nd win this season, an all-time Hong Kong record, for champion trainer John Size, and the 300th stakes win on the astonishing record of champion sire Redoute’s Choice.

Bred by Tony Bott’s Evergreen Stud, Thewizardofoz is the second foal of four-time Group 1 winner Princess Coup, by Encosta de Lago whose daughters have produced eight stakeswinners from 50 foals by Redoute’s Choice, including Group 1 winners Peeping & Musir.

Redoute’s Choice now has 148 lifetime stakeswinners, with 17 of them successful in 21 stakes races this season – very close to his standard season performance since 2003/04.

Real Impact's three-quarter brother stars in Hong Kong

Real Impact’s three-quarter brother Neorealism claimed another major international trophy for Japan with a stunning victory in Sunday evening’s ~$3.4 million HKJC Audemars Piguet Queen Elizabeth II Cup 2000m G1 at Sha Tin.

The race didn’t begin promisingly for Neorealism who had been expected to lead, but he adapted quickly to his champion jockey Joao Moreira’s alterantive strategy.

Moreira said, “The pace slowed so much on the back straight so I had to pop out and get going. He got going but he wasn’t at his top speed, so I was always confident that once we turned for home he was going to finish off strongly, which he did.”

Moreira’s initiative sent Neorealism to the lead after 1100 metres and the 6YO entire unleashed a 44.8 final 800 metres to hold out Pakistan Star and last season’s QEII Cup winner & Hong Kong Horse of the Year Werther.

Watch Neorealism win the HKJC Queen Elizabeth II Cup G1.

The QEII Cup is Neorealism’s first Group 1 victory, but he has won twice at Group 2 level in Japan and was third in last year’s Kyoto Mile Championship G1, won by Mikki Isle who joins Real Impact and Maurice to make a trio of Japanese stars on Arrowfield’s 2017 stallion roster.

Bred by Katsumi Yoshida’s Northern Racing, Neorealism (by Neo Universe) and dual Group 1 winner Real Impact (by Deep Impact) are both by sons of Sunday Silence out of Tokio Reality, whose record also includes multiple stakeswinner I’ll Love Again (by El Condor Pasa).

Neorealism, the second Japanese-bred winner of the QEII Cup after Rulership in 2012, has now earned almost $5 million for owner U. Carrot Farm and trainer Noriyuki Hori.

Real Impact, winner of the ATC George Ryder S. G1 and Tokyo Yasuda Kinen G1, covered 134 mares at Arrowfield in 2016 and is again available to Australasian breeders this year at a fee of $19,250 inc. GST.

Superlative Maurice takes out Champions Mile

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.

Watch Maurice win the Hong Kong Champions Mile G1.

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.”

Maurice magnificent in Hong Kong Cup

Japanese superstar Maurice rolled to a dramatic victory in the $HK25 million (~$A4.2 million)Longines Hong Kong Cup G1, capping a day that saw Japan and Hong Kong sweep the honours on the Sha Tin turf.

Watch Maurice win the Hong Kong Cup G1.

Maurice, a 5YO son of Screen Hero, got off to an awkward start in the Cup under jockey Ryan Moore and was third-last as the field entered the first turn. A Shin Hikari, who won last year’s Cup from the front, was out and sprinting for jockey Yutaka Take.
 
As the field hit the sweeping final turn, A Shin Hikari was seven lengths in front of the field, while Maurice was 20 lengths behind. But as the long stretch loomed, A Shin Hikari shortened stride as Maurice powered up to his magnificent best.
 
Moore came along the inside, right behind the tiring leader, swung to his outside and quickly finalised the result, winning by three lengths in 2:00.95, with Secret Weapon second and Staphanos third.
 
“That was fun,” said Moore, “When we found room to run, he just let down.”

The race was the last in Maurice’s spectacular 11-win, $12 million career for his owner Mrs Kazumi Yoshida and, as only the second horse from Japan to win three offshore Group One races, he retires as one of his country’s greatest-ever racehorses.

Maurice joins the Arrowfield roster

Arrowfield Stud is proud to announce that international champion and six-time Group 1 winner Maurice will shuttle to Arrowfield from the 2017 southern hemisphere breeding season onwards.

Owned by Mrs Kazumi Yoshida, 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.

Mrs Yoshida’s husband, 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.”

Champion jockey Joao Moreira, who rode Maurice to win the 2016 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.”

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.”

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.

Maurice (Screen Hero-Mejiro Frances) will stand at Arrowfield this year at a fee of $A33,000 inc GST alongside dual Group 1 winner Real Impact, bred by the Yoshida family. Maurice is fully booked for his first northern hemisphere season in 2017 at Shadai Stallion Station.

For more information about Maurice please visit: www.arrowfield.com.au/horses/maurice-jpn.html

Hampton Court wins Listed Dulcify Quality

The Gai Waterhouse-trained colt Hampton Court showed plenty of grit to win Saturday’s $100,000 ATC Dulcify Quality 1600m LR and become the 119th stakeswinner for Redoute’s Choice.

He is also the champion sire’s third 3YO colt to achieve stakes-winning status this season, after Scissor Kick (ATC Up and Coming S. G3) and Panzer Division (ATC Ming Dynasty Quality G3).

Hampton Court was ridden by visiting Hong Kong jockey Joao Moreira who admitted, “I probably didn’t give him the best of rides but he was still able to get there. When the gap came he was too strong for them.”

The colt jumped well and he settled second on the fence, but 300 metres from home he was boxed in and his race looked over. When space opened up suddenly for him he picked up bravely to overhaul his stablemate Duccio by three-quarters of a length, with Bachman (by All American) 1.25 lengths away in third.

The win confirmed a start for Hampton Court in next week’s Spring Champion S. G1 over 2000 metres at Randwick, where he will meet the Arrowfield-owned Panzer Division.

Waterhouse said of Hampton Court, “This bloke is an out and out stayer that’s only just getting warmed up. He showed today what I’ve been seeing at home, a very good horse. He’ll run next week and then we might look at the Victoria Derby.”

Hampton Court was bred by John & Trish Muir’s Milburn Thoroughbred Stud from the Canadian stakeswinner Roses ‘n’ Wine (by Broken Vow), from the family of champion Makybe Diva and Group 2 winner Musket (also by Redoute’s Choice).

Purchased for $500,000 by John Warren Bloodstock  from the Milburn Creek draft at the 2013 Inglis Easter Sale, he is raced by a group of owners that includes his breeders and Sydney broadcaster Alan Jones.

Hampton Court won his third start as a 2YO, ran fourth in Bachman’s Schweppervescence H. G3 and progressed well through his first three starts this term, including a good third placing behind subsequent Group 3 winner Sweynesse and Group 1 winner First Seal at Rosehill on 30 August.

Hampton Court’s win and Royal Descent’s magnificent Epsom H. G1 second have boosted Redoute’s Choice’s season earnings to $1.7 million.