10/30/2016 2:08PM

Maurice, in Japan, wins longest race of his career

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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.