Transcend goes wire to wire in Japan Cup Dirt (G1)
Youth captured the 11th running of the Japan Cup Dirt as race favorite, the 4-year-old colt Transcend went wire to wire at Hanshin Racecourse on Sunday to top a 16-horse field by a neck.
No. 8 choice Glorious Noah, another 4-year-old colt, was runnerup, the first of three darkhorses to pass the finish line ahead of the top picks. The 11th pick Admire Subaru was over the line in third place, 1 1/4 lengths behind the Precise End-sired Glorious Noah. At 7 years of age, Admire Subaru, by Admire Boss, was the best of the older runners in this year’s Japan Cup Dirt, a race that has been largely dominated by older runners. The 10th choice at the windows, Birdie Birdie, a 3-year-old by Brian’s Time, followed a nose later in fourth place with second pick Silk Mobius making the board in fifth.
Transcend broke with perfection and aced an early fast pace and pressure in the straight without ever giving up the lead. He was dogged from the start by Birdie Birdie, who gamely held his position to the final meters, only to be overtaken in an impressive stretch drive by Glorious Noah, with Admire Subaru also just able to catch Birdie Birdie but strides from the end.
“He was the favorite and I’m glad to have been able to live up to the expectations,” jockey Shinji Fujita said of Transcend, who scooped not only his first G1 race of 2010, but the first G1 win for trainer Takayuki Yasuda, 57, who opened his stable 16 years ago.
Transcend clocked 1 minute, 48.9 seconds over the 1,800 meters of slightly yielding dirt. The race’s first 1,000 meters were covered in 1 minute flat, but Transcend showed his maturity by not caving in to the pressure. “Yes, there was some pressure, but he has the speed and handled it well,” Fujita said. “He has a huge stride and it didn’t feel fast for him. I thought the pace was a bit fast, but knew he could handle it.”
“The members were much like his last race,” Fujita said and noted the absence of competition from abroad for this year’s Japan Cup Dirt. Nonetheless, not wishing to make light of the G1 win, Fujita, added, “He’s become a G1 horse and I will take care to see that he keeps on winning.”
Transcend is owned by Koji Maeda. The bay colt is by Wild Rush out of the Tony Bin mare Cinema Scope and was bred by North Hills Management in Hokkaido. Transcend is now 7-for-13, earning JPY 130 million with the Japan Cup Dirt win.