02/21/2005 12:00AM

'Meisho' goes wire to wire in Tokyo

Email

Meisho Bowler remained undefeated on dirt, leading throughout to win the Grade 1, $1.74 million February Stakes at Tokyo Racecourse on Sunday.

A 4-year-old son of Taiki Shuttle trained by Toshiaki Shirai and ridden by Yuichi Fukunaga, Meisho Bowler prevailed by a length over Seeking the Dia. He handled this step up to Grade 1 company with aplomb, setting a new track record of 1:34.70 in sloppy going.

Sent off as the even-money favorite, Meisho Bowler had won his last two starts since being switched to dirt in the Garnet Stakes and the Negishi Stakes, both Grade 3 miles.

The February Stakes is the Japanese prep for the Dubai World Cup, but it is uncertain whether Meisho Bowler will travel to Nad Al Sheba for the World Cup, the world's richest race.

* At Sha Tin on Sunday, Perfect Partner scored a 1 3/4-length victory over Floral Dynamite in the Group 1, $1.025 million Hong Kong Gold Cup at 1 1/4 miles. Bullish Luck, recent winner of the Group 1 Stewards Cup at a mile, was fifth, beaten 3 1/4 lengths. Bullish Luck, recent winner of the Group 1 Stewards Cup at a mile, was fifth, beaten 3 1/4 lengths.

* In Australia on Saturday, Cape of Good Hope landed an elusive Group 1 victory at Moonee Valley with a 1 3/4-length tally over Super Elegant in the Grade 1, $294,300 Australia Stakes over six furlongs, the second leg of the Global Sprint Challenge. Trained by David Oughton, Cape of Good Hope had most recently been third in the first leg of the Challenge.