Maurice and Ryan Moore were in the winner’s enclosure again
PICTURE: Masakazu Takahashi
By Peter Scargill 7:31AM 30 OCT 2016
Report: Japan, Sunday
Tokyo: Tenno Sho (Autumn) (Grade 1) 1m2f, 3yo+
RYAN MOORE made the perfect start to what could be a huge 48 hours when steering Maurice (Noriyuki Hori) to a hugely popular success in the prestigious ¥290,500,000 (£2,275,048) Tenno Sho (Autumn).
Moore and Maurice combined for two Grade 1 victories at the end of last year in the Kyoto Mile Championship and Hong Kong Mile, but there had been concerns about the five-year-old’s ability to excel over the extra quarter of a mile, feelings which were backed up by his defeat in the Grade 2 Sapporo Kinen over 1m2f last time.
Maurice’s task was made no easier by the fact he faced a deep field including Dubai Duty Free winner Real Steel, last year’s Tenno Sho (Autumn) scorer Lovely Day and Prix d’Ispahan winner A Shin Hikari.
How it unfolded
A Shin Hikari made the running under Yutaka Take as he attempted to implement the destructive tactics that had torn apart one of Europe’s major Group 1s in the spring.
However, he was unable to shake his rivals at any point and rounding the turn for home he was swamped by the field, including Maurice who had raced handily and towards the outside.
Moore never looked like a man who felt the petrol gauge was about to run empty as he fired Maurice into the lead, and he kept the big horse rolling all the way to the line for a one-and-a-half length success over Real Steel.
Moore said: “He’s a very good horse, he’s strong at a mile and very hard to beat. Today I thought 2,000 metres was probably his best performance.
“He’s very strong, he’s got a good turn of foot and he was dominant today. He couldn’t have been more impressive. He has a big heart, big lungs and at a mile he could go further so the horse wasn’t too concerned about the distance today.”
Hori added: “This was perhaps his best performance since the Champions Mile in April.The Hong Kong Cup or Mile will be next but I haven’t decided whether that will be his last. I will decide watching his condition from now.”
Australia is the next destination for Moore as he attempts to land the Emirates Melbourne Cup on Tuesday on Bondi Beach.