10/30/2016 1:08PM

Maurice, in Japan, wins longest race of his career


Maurice, the 2015 Japanese Horse of the Year, won the longest race of his career in Sunday’s autumn running of the $2.76 million Tenno Sho at 1 1/4 miles on turf at Tokyo Racecourse.

The win is expected to lead to a start in an international Group 1 at Sha Tin Racecourse in Hong Kong on Dec. 11 – the Hong Kong Mile, which Maurice won last year, or the Hong Kong Cup at 1 1/4 miles.

Ridden by British jockey Ryan Moore, Maurice, the 5-2 favorite, closed from sixth in a field of 15 to win by 1 1/4 lengths over 12-1 Real Steel, the winner of the Group 1 Dubai Turf at Meydan Racecourse in the United Arab Emirates in March.

Stephanos, second in the autumn running of the Tenno Sho in 2015, finished third, at 10-1.

Maurice, a 5-year-old by Screen Hero, has won 10 of 17 starts. The Tenno Sho was Maurice’s fifth win in a Grade 1 or Group 1 races. He won seven consecutive races in 2015 and earlier this year, primarily at a mile, but had lost two races prior to the Tenno Sho.

Maurice races for Kazumi Yoshida and trainer Noriyuki Hori.  The Tenno Sho was his second start at 1 1/4 miles. He was second in the Sapporo Kinen at Sapporo Racecourse in August.

Maurice won the Tenno Sho before an on-track crowd of 91,029, according to the Japan Racing Association.