Big names boosted this year’s top-level races to a powerful start and a four-way stretch battle gave the 2009 February Stakes a finish to remember with Success Brocken upsetting the top picks to win in a record time of 1 minute, 34.6 seconds.
Success Brocken was the least favorite of the top six picks, which all figured in the top finishers.
It was a clean race from start to finish, a race roaring in power and thrilling in its final moments as fans at Tokyo Racecourse Sunday screamed their favorites over the line. Espoir City, the globe-trotting Casino Drive, Japan Cup Dirt champion Kane Hekili and Success Brocken lined up just meters out from the finish line and pushed home with the winner taking the 1,400-meter dirt race by a neck with Casino Drive and Kane Hekili in second and third a head apart.
“He was raring to go today,” said winning jockey Hiroyuki Uchida, “and I was confident he could win. But, up against horses like Kane Hekili and Casino Drive, I didn’t know how much he could put between himself and them.”
A smooth start saw Success Brocken, a 4-year-old by Symboli Kris S., move to third position on the outside into the first turn.
“Everything went to plan,” said Uchida, a plan to let Success Brocken go if he wanted and just sit tight.
Uchida gave an exemplary ride, able to maintain a strong rhythm that left just what was needed for the finish. Urging Success Brocken strongly on, Uchida was able to split the ranks of three holding the front and pull ahead just in time.
“He won it all on strength,”Uchida said modestly. “I am utterly grateful to him.”
It was the black colt’s first win in five races, his first since last July and the first time to top archrival Kane Hekili, who’d won his last three races.
Success Brocken was bred out of the Sunday Silence mare Success Beauty at Tanikawa Bokugo in Hokkaido’s Urakawa.
Owned by Tetsu Takashima, the ¥94 million for the February Stakes boosted his earnings to over ¥266 million for six wins in 11 starts. Brocken is trained by the Ritto-based Hideaki Fujiwara. The winning ticket No. 15 returned ¥2,060 on a ¥100 wager. The winning exacta 15-14 paid ¥14,070, the trifecta ¥57,720.