Heavy favorite Espoir City, Japan's champion dirt horse last year, got his 2010 campaign off to a great start by easily winning the US$2.2 million February Stakes, the first grade I race of the season Feb. 21 at Tokyo.
Favored Espoir City became the 10th champion of the Japan Cup Dirt Dec. 6 at Hanshin Racecourse, going wire-to-wire from the rail post to finish 3 1/2 lengths ahead of Silk Mobius for his first group I victory.
The torch was passed from dirt champions Kane Hekili and Vermilion when Success Brocken edged Casino Drive by a neck in record time while winning the $2.2 million February Stakes (Jpn-I) before 70,000 at Tokyo Race Course Feb. 22.
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