12/06/2010 12:40PM

Transcend holds for gate-to-wire score in Japan Cup Dirt

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Transcend led them from start to finish as the 5-2 favorite in the $3 million Japan Cup Dirt at Hanshin on Sunday, holding on for a neck victory over Glorious Noah in the 1 1/8-mile Grade 1 contest.

Given a perfect ride by Shinji Fujita, the Japanese-bred 4-year-old son of Wild Rush covered the distance around the two-turn course in 1:48.90 on a track labeled good. The winner had previously taken the Grade 3 Miyako Stakes over the same distance at Kyoto on Nov. 7 from King’s Emblem who, at 4.30-1, could only manage a seventh-place finish Sunday.

Admire Subaru, who had been third last time in the JBC Classic behind the absent Smart Falcon and Furioso, was third, 1 1/4 lengths behind Glorious Noah, who had won a Grade 3 of his own last time in the 1 1/8-mile Musashino Stakes. Vermilion, the 2007 Japan Cup Dirt winner, weakened to finish 14th in the 16-runner field.

The victory of Transcend, who is now 7 for 14 lifetime (7 for 12 on dirt) for earnings of $3,588,729, has his trainer, Takayuki Yasuda, and owner, Koji Maeda, contemplating a trip to Dubai for the $10 million Dubai World Cup at Meydan on March 26.