FUNABASHI, Chiba Pref. — Dirt specialist Gold Allure outshone the competition Sunday to capture the year’s first big race, the February Stakes, by a neck over Biwa Shinseiki at Nakayama. Eagle Cafe finished in third place 3 lengths off the runnerup with Kanetsu Fleuve in fourth place 2 lengths later.

Gold Allure clocked a winning time of 1 minute, 50.9 seconds over the 1,800 meters of dirt.

“It was a fast pace, but things went as expected. It was an ideal race really,” Yutaka Take said, and praised Gold Allure saying, “He was at the end of his strength at the finish but he held on. He’s a real dirt specialist.”

The February Stakes, with a first-place purse of 94 million yen, helped to seal his champion status and brought both Take and trainer Yasuo Ikee their first wins of the race.

Gold Allure, owned by Shadai Racehorse and bred at Oiwake Farm in Hokkaido, is set to travel to Dubai for the world’s richest race, the Dubai World Cup, next month.

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