The Courier & Advertiser (Perth and Perthshire Edition)

Story makes headlines in Dubai World Cup

- By Neil Morrice

SA EED BIN SUROOR’S magic in the Dubai World Cup came to the fore once again as the world’s richest race remained in the possession of Sheikh Mohammed.

It was the sixth time the Godolphin trainer has saddled the winner and while A frican Story (12-1) had not looked an obvious contender, he was ridden with perfection by Silvestre de Sousa to wear down the front-running Mukhadram halfway down the straight.

The 12-1 chance had stretched well clear by the line, while the Investec Derby winner Ruler of theWorld, uneasy in the betting and with a poor draw, was struggling from some way out under Joseph O’Brien.

It was a landmark for De Sousa, who said: “It was great. He was very unlucky here last time when he banged his head in the stalls but he has proved he’s the boy.

“It’s an amazing feeling, one of absolute delight. Godolphin called me to ask me to join their team and I was privileged to accept.

“Saeed thoughtA frican Story was a great horse. He had a couple of issues, especially on his second start this year, but tonight he was at his absolute best.

William Haggas said of runner-up Mukhadram: “We’ve had a goodish result.

“I’d love to say to Sheikh Hamdan I’d love to have another go next year but there’s a lot of water to come under the bridge before then.”

Japanese representa­tives had a fine meeting, with Ryan Moore keeping his cool to guide Japanese mare Gentildonn­a to victory in a rough Dubai Sheema Classic and Just A Way (3-1 fav) proving in another league in the Dubai Duty Free.

Moore won the Japan Cup on Gentildonn­a (4-1) and last year’s runnerup, trained by Sei Ishizaka, moved well but appeared to get cut up by Cirrus DesA igles when about to make her move and needed to be snatched up for another effort.

She still had enough time to get her head in front, and she quickened past the French veteran inside the final 100 yards, while Roger Varian’s A mbivalent collected third.

Mike de Kock’s runner Mars suffered a fatal heart attack in the early stages and, as Richard Hughes attempted to pull him up, he crashed into the fair rail and threw the British champion jockey over the top.

Hughes was taken to hospital but was only winded, with a few cuts and bruises, and was expected to be fit to fly home.

Just A Way had earlier stretched 6¼ lengths clear of Vercingeto­rix in an astounding track-record time.

Connection­s of Just A Way were asked if he could follow a Japanese tradition of running in the Prix de l’A rc de Triomphe but the trip is not felt suitable and he is set to appear next in June’sYasuda Kinen.

Jamie Spencer had an epic night, helping 33-1 chance Certerach cause a big upset in the Dubai Gold Cup, after which he paired up with Jamie Osborne’s Toast Of New York in the UA E Derby.

Toast Of New York (11-1) was certainly not the most fashionabl­e of runners, having picked up two events at Wolverhamp­ton, but drew 2½ lengths ahead of A smar.

Godolphin’s well-touted Long John flopped badly, while A idan O’Brien’s Giovanni Boldini got going too late and finished fourth.

Michael Halford’s Irish raider Certerach held on for dear life at the line from last year’s winner Cavalryman, the 7-4 favourite who got into all sorts of trouble.

Cavalryman’s jockey De Sousa claimed Certerach had impeded him but an objection was then withdrawn, reportedly by Sheikh Mohammed, and the result stood.

Halford said: “This is beyond our wildest dreams. He’s a strong stayer and we’ll definitely think about the A scot Gold Cup and the Melbourne Cup.”

There was a boost for SouthA frican racing in the Godolphin Mile as dual horseof-the-yearVariet­y Club (11-2) held off his compatriot and defending champion Soft Falling Rain.

 ?? Picture: Getty Images. ?? Silvestre De Sousa celebrates riding African Story to victory in the Dubai World Cup at the Meydan Racecourse on Saturday.
Picture: Getty Images. Silvestre De Sousa celebrates riding African Story to victory in the Dubai World Cup at the Meydan Racecourse on Saturday.

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