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Maurice Wins Gr1 Champions Mile
At Sha Tin in Hong Kong, reigning Japanese Horse of the Year Maurice (Screen Hero-Mejiro Frances, by Carnegie) confirmed his status as one of the best racehorses in the world when resuming with a breathtakingly arrogant 2-length win for trainer Noriyuki Hori in the HK$14 million Gr1 Champions Mile (1600m) for 3YO+, over 5YO Australian-bred gelding Contentment (Hussonet-Jemison, by Commands) & 5YO New Zealand-bred gelding Packing Pins (Pins-Splashing Out, by O'Reilly). Having his first start in 5.5 months, Maurice was simply awesome in recording his seventh straight victory and his fourth at Gr1 level. He also became just the third horse to win the Hong Kong Mile-Champions Mile double - joining Good Ba Ba (2007-08) and Able Friend (2014-15) - and boosted his record to 9 wins (including the Gr1 Hong Kong Mile, Gr1 Kyoto Mile Championship, Gr1 Yasuda Kinen & Gr3 Lord Derby Challenge Trophy) and 1 placing from 14 starts for ¥628,615759 earnings. Superstar jockey Joao Moreira was full of praise for Maurice following his win. "It couldn't have been easier, it was simply unbelievable to be aboard such an animal," the Brazilian rider told the South China Morning Post. "He was coming off a long break, that was his first run since December and he just made it look so easy. I never had any concerns at any stage. He will be hard to beat wherever he goes, not many horses can match him." Maurice is expected to attempt to defend his title in next month's Gr1 Yasuda Kinen in Japan.