At Sha Tin racecourse in Hong Kong, 5YO entire and reigning Japanese Horse of the Year Maurice (Screen Hero-Mejiro Frances, by Carnegie) registered the sixth top-flight victory of his brilliant career when scoring by 1.5 lengths for trainer Noriyuki Hori and jockey Ryan Moore in the Gr1 Hong Kong Cup (2000m), over 7YO UK-bred gelding Secret Weapon (Choisir-Just Devine, by Montjeu) & 5YO entire Staphanos (Deep Impact-Kokoshnik, by Kurofune). Maurice, having his final race start, improved his record to 11 wins (including the Gr1 Autumn Tenno Sho, Gr1 Champions Mile, Gr1 Hong Kong Mile, Gr1 Kyoto Mile Championship & Gr1 Yasuda Kinen) and 3 placings (including the Gr1 Yasuda Kinen) from 18 starts for ¥1,063,480,620 in earnings. Maurice will now retire to stud with the reputation as one of the best Japanese racehorses of the modern era. "Once we got some daylight, he just quickened and put the race to bed. He's a brilliant horse," jockey Ryan Moore said. "He's very good at a mile, but possibly he's even better at 10 furlongs. He's developed into a big, strong horse and he is a pleasure to ride."
At Tokyo racecourse in Japan, 5YO entire and reigning Japanese Horse of the Year Maurice (Screen Hero-Mejiro Frances, by Carnegie) registered the fifth top-flight win of his brilliant career when scoring by 1.5 lengths for trainer Noriyuki Hori and jockey Ryan Moore in the Gr1 Autumn Tenno Sho (10 furlongs) for 3YO+, over 4YO entire Real Steel (Deep Impact-Loves Only Me, by Storm Cat) & 5YO entire Staphanos (Deep Impact-Kokoshnik, by Kurofune). Maurice confirmed his status as one of the best racehorses in the world with this latest victory which boosted his impressive record to 10 wins (including the Gr1 Champions Mile, Gr1 Hong Kong Mile, Gr1 Kyoto Mile Championship & Gr1 Yasuda Kinen) and 3 placings (including the Gr1 Yasuda Kinen) from 17 starts. Winning jockey Ryan Moore told Sky Sports: "He's a very good horse, he's strong at a mile and very hard to beat. He's got a good turn of foot and he was dominant." he added: "He couldn't have been more impressive. He has a big heart, big lungs and at a mile he could go further so we weren't too concerned about the distance."
Hong Kong champion Able Friend headlines an impressive list of global stars invited to contest this year's $3 million Gr1 Cox Plate. The Australian-bred multiple Gr1 winner is one of 12 horses from five countries whose connections have been sent an invitation to compete in Australia's weight-for-age championship at Moonee Valley on Saturday, 25 October. "The Moonee Valley Racing Club is committed to inviting the weight-for-age champions of the world to contest the William Hill Cox Plate each year," said Moonee Valley Racing Club Chairman Bob Scarborough. "We were thrilled for the connections of Adelaide to win last year's renewal of the great race and I am hopeful that the connections of the best weight-for-age horses in the world will accept our invitation to travel to Melbourne to contest the Weight-For-Age Championship of Australasia – the William Hill Cox Plate". The first round of international invitees are:
Online bookmaker sportsbet.com.au has put up prices for the 12 international runners invited to run in this year's Cox Plate by the Moonee Valley Racing Club. The world's top two rated horses in Able Friend ($4.50) and Solow ($7.00) head betting for the Weight For Age Classic. The Richard Hannon-trained pair of Night Of Thunder ($21) and Toormore ($17) along with the top two in betting have all accepted to run in the Gr1 Queen Anne Stakes at Ascot next Tuesday night over 1600m. "Able Friend is an out and out champion and Australian racing fans could be in for a treat this spring. The Greys are also set to make an impact with Solow and The Grey Gatsby both world class performers," said sportsbet.com.au's Christian Jantzen. Market courtesy of sportsbet.com.au:
At Sha Tin in Hong Kong, Coolmore's European Horse Of The Year & 6-time Gr1-winning shuttler Dylan Thomas (Danehill-Lagrion, by Diesis) celebrated a Gr1 triumph when 6YO UK-bred gelding Blazing Speed (Dylan Thomas-Leukippids, by Sadler's Wells) scored by 2-lengths for trainer Tony Cruz in the HK$20 million Gr1 Audemars Piguet Queen Elizabeth II Cup (2000m), over 4YO Japanese entire Staphanos (Deep Impact-Kokoshnik, by Kurofune) & 4YO Australian-bred entire Criterion (Sebring-Mica's Pride, by Bite The Bullet). Blazing Speed took his record to 9 wins (including the Gr1 Champions & Chater Cup & Gr1 Stewards' Cup) and 6 placings (including the Gr1 Hong Kong Gold Cup) from 31 starts £2,583,781 earnings. Cruz said that Blazing Speed would now attempt to defend his title in next month's Gr1 Champions & Chater Cup (2400m) at Sha Tin.