Updated on 09/17/2011 1:02PM

American upsets Japan Dirt

Atsushi Koya
Fleetstreet Dancer (inside), ridden by jockey Jon Court, edges out favored Admire Don in the Grade 1, $2.33 million Japan Cup Dirt at Tokyo Racecourse on Saturday.

Fleetstreet Dancer shocked Japanese race fans when he fought back gamely to edge out favored Admire Don in the Grade 1, $2.33 million Japan Cup Dirt at Tokyo Racecourse on Saturday.

Trained by Doug O'Neill and ridden by Jon Court, Fleetstreet Dancer went off at 48-1 despite having finished third in the Pacific Classic at Del Mar in August and second in the Goodwood Handicap at Santa Anita in October. Never far off the pace in Saturday's race, Fleetstreet Dancer took the lead turning into the home straight, found an extra gear when collared by Admire Don in the last 100 yards, and got his nose back in front on the line. Hagino High Grade was five lengths back in third.

Heavy rain caused the track to be rated wet-fast, but that did not stop Fleetstreet Dancer, a gelded son of Smart Strike, from clocking a track-record time of 2:09.20 for the 1 5/16-mile race.

An ecstatic O'Neill said: "In the stretch I thought we might win, but then the other horse got to us and I was thinking, 'Hang on, hang on for second.' But then mine started to find more and I couldn't believe it. He's a brave horse to come back on the rail - it's a hard thing to do."

Court had never ridden Fleetstreet Dancer before and was having his first ride outside North America. Afterward, accompanied by his wife and 6-week-old daughter, Court reported: "I had a great run, and when the other horse went by me quite easy, I asked mine for more and he found another run. I knew that I was in a photo and hoped that I had got it. It's an unbelievable feeling and I'm still taking it all in. It's my biggest win to date and it's fantastic."

The other American raider, Outta Here, trained by Bill Currin, was last for much of the race but stayed on in the closing stages to just miss a share of the prize money, finishing ninth of the 16 runners, 16 lengths behind the winner.