12/04/2011 3:25PM

Transcend earns repeat win in Japan Cup Dirt

Shigeki Kikkawa
Transcend will likely be pointed to the Dubai World Cup after winning the Japan Cup Dirt for the second time.

Transcend overcame an outside post to successfully defend his title in Sunday’s $3.5 million Japan Cup Dirt at Hanshin Racecourse in Osaka on Sunday.

After the two-length win, trainer Takayuki Yasadu said that Transcend will be pointed for the Dubai World Cup on March 31, a race in which he was second to the Japanese shipper Victoire Pisa earlier this year.

Sunday’s win was not without a touch of controversy. Transcend broke from the outside, post 16, and was rushed to the lead before the first turn. As the 5-year-old was guided toward the rail under jockey Shinji Fujita, Transcend crossed in front of Nihonpiro Ours, who was checked.

Transcend led throughout the Japan Cup Dirt, which was run over about 1 1/8 miles. His advantage ranged from a length on the first turn, to a neck with a half-mile remaining before winning comfortably over Wonder Acute, an 18-1 shot. Espoir City, 10th behind Blame in the Breeders’ Cup Classic at Churchill Downs in 2010, finished third, a nose behind Wonder Acute.

All 16 of the starters are based in Japan.

Transcend, a Japanese-bred by Wild Rush, is owned by Koji Maeda, and has earned approximately $10 million by winning 10 of 19 starts.

Yasadu said that Transcend will have a prep race for the Dubai World Cup in the February Stakes over about a mile on dirt at Tokyo Racecourse on Feb. 19. Transcend won the February Stakes earlier this year.