Japanese stayer Admire Rakti finished powerfully to narrowly win the Caulfield Cup in Australia on Saturday, one of the major lead-up races to next month`s Melbourne Cup.
Admire Rakti, trained by Tomoyuki Umeda and ridden by Hong Kong-based jockey Zac Purton, won the 2400-metre (1.5 mile) race by a long neck at the finish post.
Admire Rakti, starting at 10-1, beat the 11-1 chance and New Zealand mare Rising Romance with the 3-1 favourite Lucia Valentina a further half length away third.
"He had a handicap of 58 kilograms and wasn`t sure about it but he clearly likes Australia," Umeda told reporters.
"If everything goes well, hopefully his luck keeps going to the Melbourne Cup."
Admire Rakti`s victory reinforced the strength of Japanese-trained stayers in world racing, following Delta Blues` win over Pop Rock in an historic Japanese one-two finish in the 2006 Melbourne Cup.
The Melbourne Cup over 3200 metres (2 miles) takes place at Flemington on November 4.