December 13, 2016 (Tue)
MAURICE wins Hong Kong Cup for 3rd consecutive G1 win in HK! SATONO CROWN victorious in Hong Kong Vase over Highland Reel!
Once again, Japanese-bred horses proved their brilliance on the world stage when winning two of the four G1 Longines Hong Kong International Races that were held at Sha Tin Racecourse on Sunday, December 11.
In the Hong Kong Cup (2000m, HK$25,000,000), MAURICE (5-y-o Horse by Screen Hero, Jockey: Ryan Moore) came out powerfully from behind horses in the stretch to take the lead and win the richest race in Hong Kong by three lengths. Third and fourth in the race respectively, were Japanese-breds STEPHANOS (5-y-o Horse by Deep Impact) and LOVELY DAY (6-y-o Horse by King Kamehameha). This was MAURICE's third straight International G1 win, after last year's Hong Kong Mile and the Champion's mile in May this year.
MAURICE was purchased as a yearling at the 2012 Hokkaido Summer Sale for US$13,696 and was then sold the following year at the Hokkaido Training Sale for US$91,304. He has now won six G1 races in Japan and Hong Kong, with earnings of US$9,257,208. He will now be retired from racing and will commence stud duties next year.
In the Hong Kong Vase (2400m, HK$16,500,000), Highland Reel, last year's winner and strong favorite to win again this year after scoring in this year's Breeders' Cup Turf and King George VI & Queen Elizabeth S., was upset by Japanese-bred SATONO CROWN (4-y-o Colt by Marju, Jockey: Joao Moreira) who caught up with the favorite in the final furlongs of the stretch to finish victorious by a half-length margin. Japanese-breds NUOVO RECORD (5-y-o Horse by Heart's Cry) and SMART LAYER (6-y-o Horse by Deep Impact) also finished fourth and fifth, respectively in the race.
SATONO CROWN was a US$529,565 purchase as a yearling at the 2013 JRHA Select Sale, and this was his first G1 win, bringing his earnings to US$3,048,041.
This is the second consecutive year that Japanese-bred horses have won two of the Hong Kong International Races, after A SHIN HIKARI (Hong Kong Cup) and MAURICE (Hong Kong Mile) from last year. Japanese-breds have now won12 Hong Kong International Races since 2001.
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