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How the Group 1 winners were bred

Holy Roman Emperor and Marju represented by new top-level scorers

Satono Crown and Joao Moreira nab Highland Reel close home in the Hong Kong Vase
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Satono Crown dug deep in a thrilling finish to the Group 1 Hong Kong Vase to clinch victory from the globetrotting Highland Reel at Sha Tin on Sunday.

The Aidan O'Brien-trained Highland Reel looked to have the race sewn up as he went three lengths clear a furlong from home but he was to be denied by the fast-finishing Satono Crown.

Bred by Northern Racing out of the Listed-winning Rossini mare Jioconda, Satono Crown is a brother to Cheveley Park Stakes heroine Lightening Pearl.

With success in the contest, the four-year-old became the latest scorer at the highest level for his late sire Marju.

The former Derrinstown Stud resident, who died in October, is best known in Europe as the sire of five-time Group 1 heroine Soviet Song.

But he had an uncanny knack of supplying high-class runners in Hong Kong.

Before Satono Crown, there was Indigenous and Viva Pataca, prolific winners in Hong Kong, as well as Grade 3 scorer Saturn.

Aero flies home

Aerovelocity scored his second victory in the Group 1 Longines Hong Kong Sprint when holding off the challenge of Lucky Bubbles and Peniaphobia to win by a short head.

The eight-year-old, trained by Paul O'Sullivan and ridden by Zac Purton, had won this contest in 2014 when he beat Peniaphobia by a neck.

Nelson Schick and Steve Till of Windsor Park Stud bred Aerovelocity out of the winning Kaapstad mare Exodus. O'Sullivan purchased him for NZ$120,000 as a yearling at the 2010 NZ Bloodstock Karaka Premier Sale.

He is by Waikato Stud stallion Pins, a son of Snippets who won seven races including the Group 1 Cadbury Guineas at Flemington, and since retiring to stud in New Zealand has supplied the Group 1 performers Ambitious Dragon, El Segundo and Legs.

Roman Beauty for Emperor

Holy Roman Emperor supplied the ninth Group 1 winner of his stallion career when Beauty Only landed the Longines Hong Kong Mile.

The five-year-old was held up in the middle of the pack in the early stages of the race before making a move three furlongs from home. Taking the lead at the furlong pole, he found plenty to beat Helen Paragon by half a length.

Bred by Massimo Parri, Beauty Only is out of the placed Ali-Royal mare Goldendale and is a half-brother to the Listed-winning Dee Dee D'Or.

Holy Roman Emperor, a 12-year-old son of Danehill, was trained by Aidan O'Brien to win four races including the Phoenix Stakes and Prix Jean-Luc Lagardere.

He is another sire whose exports to Hong Kong have excelled. His son Designs On Rome has won four races there, while the locally trained Rich Tapestry won at the highest level at Santa Anita.

Other progeny of Holy Roman Emperor include 1,000 Guineas heroine Homecoming Queen and Criterium de Saint-Cloud scorer Morandi.

Maurice delivers on final start

Japanese star Maurice scored a stunning three-length victory in the Longines Hong Kong Cup from Secret Weapon, who, as a son of Choisir out of a Montjeu mare, is bred on the same cross as recent Breeders' Cup Turf Sprint winner Obviously.

The five-year-old was given a commanding ride by Ryan Moore to take the lead as the race entered its final stages and sealed a memorable success on Sunday.

Bred by Togawa Bokujo, Maurice is out of the Carnegie mare Mejiro Frances and is a half-brother to two winners in Japan. Further back it is the family of Mejiro Bosatsu, who was placed in both the Japanese 1,000 Guineas and Oaks.

Maurice is by Screen Hero, a 12-year-old son of Grass Wonder who stands at the Shadai Stallion Station in Japan. He had been best known as the sire of Grade 1 hero Gold Actor.


Marju had an uncanny knack of supplying high-class runners in Hong Kong
E.W. Terms