African Story storms to Dubai World Cup glory

As it happened: After a good night for Japanese horses, Dubai takes a 1-2-3 in the big one

  • By Gareth Butler, Web News Editor
  • Published: 23:17 March 29, 2014

Dubai: Godolphin's African Story stormed to victory in the Dubai World Cup after a high-quality night of horse racing at Meydan.

It was a frantic evening, as Japanese horses dominated the early running with three race wins.

There were also two wins a piece for jockeys Jamie Spencer and Joao Moreira.

But it was Godolphin and the Saeed Bin Surour-trained African Story who came good in the end under jockey Silvestre De Sousa, leading a Dubai 1-2-3 in the Dubai World Cup with Shaikh Hamdan's Mukhadram in second and another Godolphin horse, Cat O'Mountain in third.

Here is our live blog, as it happened.

All of our individual race reports are here:

Dubai World Cup

Dubai Sheema Classic

Dubai Duty Free

Dubai Golden Shaheen

Al Quoz Sprint

UAE Derby

Dubai Gold Cup

Godolphin Mile

Dubai Kahayla Classic

Pictures of all the winners are here.

Our fashion galleries are here and here.

11.08pm: Here's His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, lifting the Dubai World Cup trophy on behalf of the Godolphin team:

worldcup11

10.43pm: Here's African Story and Silvestre De Sousa on the way to a famous victory:

African Story - Dubai World Cup winner

10.40pm: The confirmed Dubai World Cup result:

1 AFRICAN STORY, 2 MUKHADRAM, 3 CAT O’MOUNTAIN, 4 SIDE GLANCE, 5 AKEED MOFEED, 6 RED CADEAUX, 7 SANSHAAWES, 8 VANCOUVERITE, 9 PRINCE BISHOP, 10 MILITARY ATTACK, 11 BELSHAZZAR, 12 RON THE GREEK, 13 RULER OF THE WORLD, 14 HILLSTAR, 15 SURFER, 16 HOKKO TARUMAE

10.26pm: The UAE national anthem is playing at Meydan following a 1-2-3 for Dubai in the Dubai World Cup.

10.19pm: Third went to Cat O'Mountain, another Godolphin horse, making it a sweep for Dubai with second place Mukhadram owned by Shaikh Hamdan.

10.17pm: Jockey Silvestre De Sousa is over the moon:

"We did it. This is for the entire team, for Saeed [Bin Surour], the grooms, all of them. No doubt we had to wait the whole night for this but it has been worth it. This is for the whole team. It’s a team effort. We just saved the best for the last."

10.14pm: His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, is visibly delighted with the victory.

10.11pm: That's Godolphin's only win of the night, but it's THE BIG ONE! African Story, ridden by Silvestre De Sousa, trained by Saeed Bin Surour in a track record time. Mukhadram was second, still waiting for third.

10.10pm: GODOLPHIN'S AFRICAN STORY TAKES IT!!

10.06pm: OFF THEY GO!! The Dubai World Cup is on!!

10.05pm: The horses are being loaded into the stalls.

9.58pm: The Gulf News selections for the Dubai World Cup are 1) Prince Bishop, 2) Mukhadram and 3) Ruler Of The World. Who will take it? It's just minutes away...

9.55pm: And here's Gentildonna on the charge to victory, courtesy of Virendra Saklani again:

Gentildonna - Dubai Sheema Classic race winner

9.54pm: Here's the official result of the Dubai Sheema Classic:

1 GENTILDONNA, 2 CIRRUS DES AIGLES, 3 AMBIVALENT, 4 EMPOLI, 5 DOMINANT, 6 MAGICIAN, 7 MEANDRE, 8 MOUNT ATHOS, 9 DUNADEN, 10 DENIM AND RUBY, 11 EXCELLENT RESULT, 12 TWILIGHT ECLIPSE, 13 FESTIVE CHEER, 14 DUBDAY

9.50pm: A delighted, but unnamed, representative of the Sunday Racing Company Limited, which owns Gentildonna, winner of the Dubai Sheema Classic:

"She’s in good form. On the last track she had nowhere to go but she did well to get out, and I think Ryan Moore did a good job there. She won the Japan Cup last year and Ryan just told me that she was much better tonight. We have not yet discussed what we are doing with her in the near future. This win has given us many options and of course the Japan Cup [in December] will be one of these. And now maybe we can go to other countries as well."

9.46pm: Here's an image of Just A Way, winner of the Dubai Duty Free with Yuichi Fukunaga on board.

Just A Way - Dubai Duty Free race winner

9.43pm: Here are your Dubai World Cup runners and riders:

Dubai World Cup Sponsored By Emirates

22:05; TB — Group I; 2000M (a10F) — All-Weather; $10,000,000

1 PRINCE BISHOP (Jockey: Kieren Fallon)

2 BELSHAZZAR (Christophe Lemaire)

3 VANCOUVERITE (William Buick)

4 AKEED MOFEED (Douglas Whyte)

5 SANSHAAWES (Christophe Soumillon)

6 AFRICAN STORY (Silvestre De Sousa)

7 HILLSTAR (Ryan Moore)

8 MILITARY ATTACK (Joao Moreira)

9 SIDE GLANCE (Jamie Spencer)

10 SURFER (Richard Mullen)

11 HOKKO TARUMAE (Hideaki Miyuki)

12 RULER OF THE WORLD (Joseph O’Brien)

13 MUKHADRAM (Paul Hanagan)

14 RED CADEAUX (Gerald Mosse)

15 CAT O’MOUNTAIN (Mickael Barzalona)

16 RON THE GREEK (Jose Lezcano)

9.41pm: And so we turn our attention to THE BIG ONE. The Dubai World Cup is the only race left, with $10 million on the line and $6 million for the winner. We are off in the biggest race of the year at 10.05pm.

9.36pm: Always sad to lose a horse like that, but you have to be thankful the jockey is not seriously injured.

9.33pm: Sad news on Mars. The horse suffered a fatal heart attack during the Dubai Sheema Classic. Jockey Richard Hughes is OK though.

9.29pm: Mars had a nasty crash into the fence during that race. Waiting to hear if horse and jockey Richard Hughes were injured.

9.24pm: Two in a row for Japan and three overall, as the trend of Gulf News third place picks winning is broken. Ryan Moore was on board the horse owned by Sunday Racing Co Ltd. Cirrus Des Aigles in second, Ambivalent third.

9.23pm: Japanese horse Gentildonna takes the Dubai Sheema Classic.

9.18pm: And they're off in the Dubai Sheema Classic.

9.15pm: The Gulf News tips are Magician in first, Gentildonna second and, MOST IMPORTANTLY, Excellent Result in third.

9.14pm: Here are your runners and riders for the Dubai Sheema Classic:

Dubai Sheema Classic Presented By Longines

1 EXCELLENT RESULT (Jockey: Silvestre De Sousa)

2 MARS (Richard Hughes)

3 DENIM AND RUBY (Suguru Hamanaka)

4 MAGICIAN (Joseph O’Brien)

5 MOUNT ATHOS (Kieren Fallon)

6 DUNADEN (Jamie Spencer)

7 AMBIVALENT (Andrea Atzeni)

8 MEANDRE (Patrick Dobbs)

9 FESTIVE CHEER (Seamus Heffernan)

10 DUBDAY (Lanfranco Dettori)

11 TWILIGHT ECLIPSE (Jose Lezcano)

12 GENTILDONNA (Ryan Moore)

13 EMPOLI (Adrie de Vries)

14 DOMINANT (Joao Moreira)

15 CIRRUS DES AIGLES (Christophe Soumillon)

9.07pm: Naosuke Sugai, trainer of Just A Way, was just delighted to be invited to the event:

"I would like to thank Shaikh Mohammad, all the sponsors and the ERA for inviting us to Dubai. There is a great level of competition here and we were able to prove with this win.

"We will now go back home as we do not have too many options at our disposal. There are several factors that we need to consider before we decide what we want to do with the horse."

9.04pm: The Dubai Sheema Classic is due off at 9.17pm

9.03pm: Official results of the Dubai Duty Free are in:

1 JUST A WAY, 2 VERCINGETORIX, 3 DANK, 4 MSHAWISH, 5 ANAEROBIO, 6 LOGOTYPE, 7 TOKEI HALO, 8 HUNTER’S LIGHT, 9 TASADAY, 10 BLAZING SPEED, 11 THE FUGUE, 12 TRADE STORM, 13 EDUCATE

9.01pm: If you missed Gulf News today, you also missed a great A to Z of horse racing, and a fantastic racing-themed crossword:

crossword11111111

8.48pm: Just one race, the Dubai Sheema Classic, remains until the big one, the $10m Dubai World Cup.

8.46pm: Just A Way ridden by Yuichi Fukunaga, owned by Akatsuki Yamatoya. Vercingetorix is second and Dank third.

8.43pm: Incredibly, all but one horse selected to finish third by Gulf News has won their race!

8.42pm: You guessed it, Just A Way wins!!!

8.40pm: And they're off the in Dubai Duty Free

8.35pm: And here's a picture of the Dubai Golden Shaheen winner, Sterling City, with Joao Moreira on board:

Sterling City - Dubai Golden Shaheen winner

8.34pm: Check these facts from our excellent preview package in today's Gulf News:

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8.20pm: Jennifer Lopez is on stage to give a taster of what to expect later. The American performer is the headline act of the post-horse racing entertainment.

8.11pm: John Moore, trainer of Sterling City who won the Dubai Golden Shaheen, says it was all about the team effort:

"Sterling City was not exactly enjoying the kick back. But somehow Joao managed to extricate him and steer him in the clear and balanced him. After that there was no holding him back. He had a great ride.

"Singapore would be the first target for him after Dubai. Winning here is every trainer’s dream and today we have managed to fulfil this dream. And don’t forget, this is not just about the trainer…it’s a team effort."

And here's jockey Joao Moreira on his second win of the night:

"What a lovely horse he has been. He ran up to his best and initially he had a lot of kick back on his face. But once he was without the kick back he ran his best and what a pleasure the race turned out to be. I want to dedicate this win to my wife, my family and my friends."

8.02pm: Official results for the Dubai Golden Shaheen:

1 STERLING CITY, 2 RICH TAPESTRY, 3 UNITED COLOR, 4 REYNALDOTHEWIZARD, 5 NAWWAAR, 6 ZEE BROS, 7 RUSSIAN SOUL, 8 BALMONT MAST, 9 COMPLICATE, 10 KRYPTON FACTOR, 11 JAMESIE, 12 MY CATCH, 13 BELLO

8pm: The full list of Gulf News tips for the Dubai Duty Free is 1) The Fugue, 2) Vercingetorix and 3) Just A Way.

7.58pm: Given the form so far, you'll be keen to know that Gulf News' Leslie Wilson has tipped Just A Way to finished third.

7.56pm: Bit of a break until the next race, the Dubai Duty Free, which is off at 8.39pm. Here's your racecard...

Dubai Duty Free Sponsored By Dubai Duty Free

20:39; TB — Group I; 1800M (a9F) — Turf; $5,000,000

1 MSHAWISH (Jockey: Lanfranco Dettori)

2 JUST A WAY (Yuichi Fukunaga)

3 ANAEROBIO (Anton Marcus)

4 THE FUGUE (William Buick)

5 EDUCATE (Maxime Guyon)

6 TOKEI HALO (Yutaka Take)

7 TRADE STORM (Jamie Spencer)

8 TASADAY (Silvestre De Sousa)

9 BLAZING SPEED (Joao Moreira)

10 DANK (Ryan Moore)

11 VERCINGETORIX (Christophe Soumillon)

12 LOGOTYPE (Cristian Demuro)

13 HUNTER’S LIGHT (Kieren Fallon)

7.52pm: Yaseen Adam Malick is the latest to answer the above question, and I think he might be Australian, as he writes:

"G'Day Mate, If I owned a horse I would call it Sprintzer, cause it's sounds catchy. Cheers Bud."

Chuck some shrimps on the barbie Mr Yaseen.

7.47pm: Sterling City, owned by Ling Chiu Shing and Gary Ling Kay Wai of Hong Kong.

7.44pm: That's a double for jockey Joao Moreira, matching Jamie Spencer. Rich Tapestry was second and United Colour third.

7.43pm: And Sterling City takes it!!! The fifth out of six races where Gulf News' tip for third has won the race... incredible!

7.41pm: They're off in the Dubai Golden Shaheen...

7.38pm: 'I just let him go' says jockey Joao Moreira, who won the Al Quoz Sprint on Amber Sky:

"He’s been such a great champion. He is so easy to ride. It was a great opportunity for him to prove himself and he did so with such style. I think I gave him a good ride and he just went on to prove himself on the world stage.

"He’s such a special horse. He put himself in the right spot and I was able to just let him go when I asked him to. He had a great kick back and he was simply too good for the others. Personally, the feeling for me could not have been any better."

And here's trainer Rickey Riu:

"That was a stunning run from him. He’s such a powerful horse and he fought well. I thought he would get tired but he just went all the way.

"I can’t compare him to any other horse. I think at the moment he looks good enough for the 1,000 metres straight. Royal Ascot? Yes surely we are going to the UK, but first we will have to sit and chat with the owners. The Longines Hong Kong Sprint will be the next big one for him."

7.37pm: Four minutes until the off, excitement building.

7.31pm: I know what you were asking: 'Where is our picture of Amber Sky?' Your wish is my command:

Amber Sky

Here's Amber Sky ridden by Joao Moreira on the way to victory in the Al Quoz Sprint

7.26pm: Gurjit Singh has responded to the question posed above. Clearly, Gurjit sleeps well at night:

"I would call it  DREAM, because it would be everyone's dream & no one can stop DREAM."

7.25pm: Here's the official results for the Al Quoz Sprint:

1 AMBER SKY, 2 AHTOUG, 3 SHEA SHEA, 4 MEDICEAN MAN, 5 CATCALL, 6 HAMZA, 7 SOLE POWER, 8 DUX SCHOLAR, 9 JOY AND FUN, 10 SHOLAAN, 11 BERLINO DI TIGER, 12 BEAT BABY

7.23pm: And another. Here's Toast of New York, winner of the UAE Derby, with Jamie Spencer on board again.

Toast Of New York

7.20pm: Another Virendra Saklani picture... here we have Certerach, winner of the Dubai Gold Cup, ridden by Jamie Spencer. 

Certerach

7.18pm: This race is due off at 7.41pm, so go and get a cup of tea or whatever your choice of refreshment. Can someone bring me a coffee please?

7.13pm: Here are your runners and riders:

Dubai Golden Shaheen Sponsored By Gulf News

19:41; TB — Group I; 1200M(a6F) — All-Weather; $2,000,000

1 KRYPTON FACTOR (Jockey: Luke Morris)

2 BALMONT MAST (Ryan Moore)

3 NAWWAAR (Paul Hanagan)

4 STERLING CITY (Joao Moreira)

5 REYNALDOTHEWIZARD (Richard Mullen)

6 ZEE BROS (Lanfranco Dettori)

7 UNITED COLOR (William Buick)

8 COMPLICATE (Silvestre De Sousa)

9 RUSSIAN SOUL (Shane Foley)

10 JAMESIE (Fergal Lynch)

11 MY CATCH (Patrick Dobbs)

12 RICH TAPESTRY (Olivier Doleuze)

13 BELLO (Mickael Barzalona)

7.12pm: Dubai Golden Shaheen is up next. Gulf News selections are Rich Tapestry first, second Reynaldothewizard, third Sterling City.

7.08pm: Ahtoug in second, Shea Shea in third, the top three a reverse of the Gulf News selections.

7.06pm: Amber Sky ridden by Joao Moreira, owned by Hung Kam Po. Incredibly, a fourth horse tipped to be third by Gulf News wins the race.

7.05pm: Amber Sky wins it!!

7.03pm: They're off

7pm: We're off in 3 minutes in the Al Quoz Sprint.

6.53pm: Jockey Jamie Spencer tells us the best thing about UAE Derby winner Toast of New York:

"He’s always been a great horse. Personally, I am delighted with my second win of the night. I am pleased for myself and for the owner Michael Buckley. The best thing in this horse is that he steps up the game when needed."

And here's a delighted trainer Jamie Osborne:

"This is something of a revelation from him. He’s just shown that he’s got a great amount of ability in him. He’s proved beyond doubt that he’s a really good horse and we could not have asked for anything more than this from him. When we came here I was hoping he would be good enough, but tonight he has shown what he’s got. All I knew though was that he had the potential and that was the reason why we concentrated on keeping him well."

6.50pm: The Gulf News picks are 1) Shea Shea, 2) Ahtoug and 3) Amber Sky, so Amber Sky to win it based on the results so far!

6.47pm: Here's your card...

Al Quoz Sprint Empowered By IPIC

19:03; TB — Group 1; 1000M (a5F) — Turf; $1,000,000

1 JOY AND FUN (Brett Doyle)

2 SOLE POWER (Ryan Moore)

3 SHOLAAN (William Buick)

4 MEDICEAN MAN (Harry Bentley)

5 BEAT BABY (Per-Anders Graberg)

6 HAMZA (Neil Callan)

7 BERLINO DI TIGER (Leandro Goncalves)

8 AMBER SKY (Joao Moreira)

9 DUX SCHOLAR (Patrick Dobbs)

10 CATCALL (Olivier Peslier)

11 AHTOUG (Mickael Barzalona)

12 SHEA SHEA (Christophe Soumillon)

6.45pm: Next up is the Al Quoz Sprint, oddly named given you can rarely sprint through Al Quoz. the Al Quoz Crawl might have been more apt...

6.44pm: Here are your official results for the UAE Derby:

1 TOAST OF NEW YORK, 2 ASMAR, 3 EMIRATES FLYER, 4 GIOVANNI BOLDINI, 5 COOPTADO, 6 LONG JOHN, 7 PAXIMADIA, 8 SIR JACK LAYDEN, 9 KING RUBI, 10 SAFETY CHECK, 11 JALLOTA, 12 SIR JOHN HAWKINS

6.41pm: In answer to the above question, reader Vinod Nishad would call his horse Richer. He doesn't explain why.

6.38pm: Gulf News had Toast of New York down to finish third. That's the third time our third choice horse has won tonight. Just saying...

6.35pm: Here's a great picture of Godolphin Mile winner Variety Club by Gulf News' Virendra Saklani:

Variety Club

6.31pm: Looks like Asmar in second, Long John in a photo finish for third with Giovanni Boldini.

6.28pm: Toast of New York wins it, ridden by Jamie Spencer, his second winner of the night. Owned by Michael Buckley, trained by Jamie Osbourne.

6.26pm: Gulf News picks are Long John, Giovanni Boldini and Toast of New York.

6.25pm: They're off in the UAE Derby...

6.24pm: Dubai Gold Cup full results

1 CERTERACH, 2 CAVALRYMAN, 3 STAR EMPIRE, 4 MOMENT IN TIME, 5 RALSTON ROAD, 6 DABADIYAN, 7 SONGCRAFT, 8 ERNEST HEMINGWAY, 9 SHEIKHZAYEDROAD, 10 SEISMOS, 11  JOSHUA TREE, 12 NOW WE CAN, 13 SADDLER’S ROCK, 14 JAMR, 15 SIMENON

6.22pm: And here's owner Paul Rooney:

"We are delighted the strategy worked the trainer had him in a superb shape the jockey rode a wonderful ride. We agreed the strategy the strategy was implemented and we won the race.  A wonderful day for Ireland absolutely delighted. It’s just unbelievable, it’s world class racing the whole Dubai facility is just world class and we’re so pleased to be here and privileged to be and I’m delighted for everybody on the team."

6.18pm: Michael Halford and Jamie Spencer, trainer and jockey of Certerach respectively, have been talking:

Michael Halford, Trainer: :This has been an amazing night. It’s a dream come true for all of us. And to top it all with a winner is something that can only be a dream for many. It is a seasoned horse and though it has had other good runs here this one still remains at the top. Considering that he was against Cavalryman he had a very good race today."

 Jamie Spencer, Jockey: "I think we got there a bit too early. He’s a huge horse and that doesn’t go in his favour. I remembered what the trainer had told me to let the horse find its rhythm and so I just let the reins fall. He’s real quick and once he gets to the front there is no stopping him."

6.15pm: Next race is the UAE Derby. Here are the runners and riders:

UAE Derby Sponsored By The Saeed & Mohammed Al Naboodah Group

18:25; TB — Group 2; 1900M (a9.5F) — All-Weather; $2,000,000

1 SAFETY CHECK (Jockey: William Buick)

2 PAXIMADIA (Silvestre De Sousa)

3 COOPTADO (Patrick Dobbs)

4 LONG JOHN (Mickael Barzalona)

5 GIOVANNI BOLDINI (Ryan Moore)

6 EMIRATES FLYER (Kieren Fallon)

7 SIR JACK LAYDEN (Lanfranco Dettori)

8 TOAST OF NEW YORK (Jamie Spencer)

9 ASMAR (Richard Hughes)

10 SIR JOHN HAWKINS (Colm O’Donoghue)

11 JALLOTA (Jim Crowley)

12 KING RUBI (Antoine Hamelin)

6.14pm: And now the official opening of the Dubai World Cup.

6.11pm: We are now pausing, slightly late, for the UAE national anthem.

6.06pm: The dapper Dubai-based designer Marlon Weir wins Best Dressed Man at the Jaguar Style Stakes. He was inspired by the majestic horses, apparently:

 worldcup10

6.05pm: There was an appeal on the result of the Dubai Gold Cup, between the first two. But the result stands.

5.55pm: Official order for the Dubai Gold Cup: Certerach, Cavalryman, Star Empire, Moment in Time.

5.53pm: Gulf News' Leslie Wilson tipped Cavalryman to win that one. Our guys have drawn a blank so far...

5.49pm: Certerach takes the Dubai Gold Cup by a nose from last year's winner Cavalryman. Winning jockey Jamie Spencer, owner Paul Rooney.

5.44pm: Great image from Gulf News photographer Virendra Saklani of Olivier Pesler on Rabbah De Carrere on the way to victory in the Kahayla Classic earlier:

worldcup9a

5.38pm: Dubai Gold Cup up next. Runners and riders at 5.21pm. Gulf News picks are Cavalryman, Joshua Tree and Songcraft, in that order.

5.34pm: Sorry about that last joke, back to the racing. Winning trainer and jockey from the Godolphin Mile talking:

Anton Marcus, Jockey: "This win means so much to me. I want to thank the trainer [Ramsden] for handing me the ride. Going into the race I was a bit down and he came to me and told me not to worry but to just go for it as I have nothing to lose. I am happy I followed his advice."

Jerry Ramsden, Trainer: "He keeps on going...that's him. Once he starts and breaks to the front, he simply goes all the way to the line. I wouldn't term this as a momentous thing, it's just a great thing for a great horse. We still need to meet now and decide on his future. Most likely he will join Mike de Kock and then we will have to see if he will go for the Hong Kong Mile and then something in the UK."

5.32pm: There's a horse called SheikhZayedRoad [sic] in the next race. Hope it doesn't charge Sailk...

5.31pm: Godolphin Mile full results

1 VARIETY CLUB, 2 SOFT FALLING RAIN, 3 FLOTILLA, 4 GOLD CITY, 5 BRIGHTLINE, 6 LIMARIO, 7 ELLEVAL, 8 SHURUQ, 9 EASTERN RULES, 10 HAATHEQ, 11 GABRIAL, 12 MULL OF KILLOUGH, 13 GLORY AWAITS, 14 PENITENT, 15 CAPITAL ATTRACTION

5.25pm: Of course tonight is all about the horse racing, but there's a hat competition too. Here are the entrants:

worldcup8

5.22pm: Shaikh Hamdan-owned Soft Falling Rain, last year's winner, was second in the Godolphin Mile. Flotilla came in third.

5.21pm: Next race is the Dubai Gold Cup. Here's your card:

Dubai Gold Cup Sponsored By Al Tayer Motors

17:45; TB — Group 2; 3200M (a16F) — Turf; $1,000,000

1 DABADIYAN (Jockey: Shane Foley)

2 STAR EMPIRE (Christophe Soumillon)

3 ERNEST HEMINGWAY (Joseph O’Brien)

4 MOMENT IN TIME (Jim Crowley)

5 RALSTON ROAD (Tadhg O’Shea)

6 SONGCRAFT (Mickael Barzalona)

7 CAVALRYMAN (Silvestre De Sousa)

8 JOSHUA TREE (Ryan Moore)

9 SEISMOS (Andrea Atzeni)

10 JAMR (Adrie de Vries)

11 SADDLER’S ROCK (Declan McDonogh)

12 NOW WE CAN (Thierry Thulliez)

13 SHEIKHZAYEDROAD (Martin Lane)

14 CERTERACH (Jamie Spencer)

15 SIMENON (Pat Smullen)

 

5.16pm: Again, Gulf News had Variety Club in third. Is there a pattern emerging?

5.12pm: Variety Club of South Africa wins the Godolphin Mile. Owners are the Jooste family, jockey Anton Marcus, trained by Joey Ramsden.

5.10pm: Godolphin Mile is underway!

5.09pm: Dubai Kahayla Classic, full results:

1 RABBAH DE CARRERE, 2 DJAINKA DES FORGES, 3 MUSHARAB, 4 RAAZIQ, 5 MANAN, 6 SAHIB DU CLOS, 7 VERSAC PY, 8 MUSHRAE, 9 VETLANA DE FAUST, 10 SHAYEL ALDHABI, 11 AF LAFEH, 12 NIESHAN, 13 SKOOP, 14 NASEEM, 15 AL MAMUN MONLAU, 16 RICHLORE

5.08pm: Gulf News picks for this one are Shuruq, Soft Falling Rain and Variety Club.

5.07pm: Next race is the Godolphin Mile. Here are your runners and riders:

Godolphin Mile Sponsored By Meydan Sobha

17:10 — TB, Group 2; 1600M(a8F) — All-Weather; $1,000,000

1 PENITENT (Jockey: Joseph O’Brien)

2 GABRIAL (Richard Hughes)

3 GLORY AWAITS (Jamie Spencer)

4 EASTERN RULES (Shane Foley)

5 SOFT FALLING RAIN (Paul Hanagan)

6 ELLEVAL (Fergal Lynch)

7 FORJATT — Non-runner

8 GOLD CITY (Richard Mullen)

9 FLOTILLA (Christophe Lemaire)

10 SHURUQ (Silvestre De Sousa)

11 MULL OF KILLOUGH (Ryan Moore)

12 CAPITAL ATTRACTION (Tadhg O’Shea)

13 HAATHEQ (Dane O’Neill)

14 BRIGHTLINE (Yuichi Fukunaga)

15 VARIETY CLUB (Anton Marcus)

16 LIMARIO (Patrick Dobbs)

5.02pm: Gulf News picks, selected by Harry Tregoning, had Rabbah De Carrere in third. Decide for yourselves if that's a success or not!

5pm: The thoughts of Majid Al Jahouri, trainer of Rabbah De Carrere.

"Today he has proved that he is the best horse. He is still improving. He's not had too many races and he does not have the experience, but today he showed he is a top-class horse. I don't know what the future holds for him. It will be the boss's decision (Shaikh Mansour). I think we would be tempted to send him to Qatar for a while and then we will see what the boss decides to do with him.

I was surprised with Musharab and the way he ran. Raaziq too did well even though he does not find this track suitable. He is not a fast horse."

4.48pm: Here's what Dubai Kahayla Classic winning jockey Olivier Peslier  has to say:

"It was not easy as he had to hang on against the rail especially after the turn. I tried to get out and go clear, but I did not many options before me. I tried getting him to the middle, but even that was not possible, so I just allowed him to go instead of fighting with him. He did a great job to get through the small gap and win."

4.42pm: Reader Isabella Yousuf has answered the question above...

"If I owned a horse I would call it Talk of the Town because I would like everyone in the city of Dubai to admire him, talk about him and even spread the word at the Dubai World Cup so that my horse will be eligible to take part in the DWC 2015."

4.39pm: Second was number 16 Djainka Des Forges and third number five Musharab.

4.36pm: Shaikh Mansour wins second Kahayla Classic title.

4.32pm: Number 15 Rabbah De Carrerre takes first race the Dubai Kakayla Classic, squeezing through on the rail. Jockey Olivier Peslier is delighted win the the win for owner Shaikh Mansour Bin Zayed Al Nahyan.  

4.25pm: Here are you runners and riders for race one:

Dubai Kahayla Classic Sponsored By Emaar
16:30; PA - Group 1; 2000M (a10F); All-Weather; $250,000
1 NASEEM (Jockey: Jesus Rosales)
2 SKOOP (Adrie de Vries)
3 SAHIB DU CLOS (Wayne Smith)
4 MANAN (Carlos Sandoval)
5 MUSHARAB (Kieren Fallon)
6 NIESHAN (Gerald Avranche)
7 VERSAC PY (Paul Hanagan)
8 MUSHRAE (Christophe Soumillon)
9 RAAZIQ (Silvestre De Sousa)
10 SHAYEL ALDHABI (Tadhg O’Shea)
11 RICHLORE (Jamie Spencer)
12 VETLANA DE FAUST (Harry Bentley)
13 AF LAFEH (Royston Ffrench)
14 AL MAMUN MONLAU (Lanfranco Dettori)
15 RABBAH DE CARRERE (Olivier Peslier)
16 DJAINKA DES FORGES (Christophe Lemaire)

4.19pm: Here's Skoop, owned by President His Highness Shaikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, coming out for the Dubai Kahayla Classic, just 11 minutes away:

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4.10pm: Here's Leslie Wilson again:

Leslie Wilson Jr
Leslie Wilson 

"The clock is ticking fast. Just 20 minutes to go before the first race of the day, the Group 1 Kahayla Classic, where some of the best Purebred Arabians in the world will be battling for a purse of $250,000. The runners are being saddled up in the saddling enclosure close to where we are seated. Emirati trainer Majed Al Jahouri has his hands full saddling up three of his runners. Starting to fee a real buzz before the party kicks-off...

4.04pm: With 26 minutes until the start of the first race, Harry Tregoning gives us our first picture of horses. It's the horses we're here to watch, afterall:

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3.55pm: And a picture of the magnificent trophy from Ashley Hammond:

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3.46pm: The latest on the Pick 6:

Ashley Hammond
Ashley Hammond 

"Pick 6 jackpot is Dh150,000 if you pick all six winners, Dh30,000 if you pick 5/6, Dh20,000 if you pick 4/6. Meanwhile, in the Tricast if you pick the top three in races 4&5 you'll win Dh50,000, the top three in races 6&7 gets you Dh60,000 and the top in races 8&9 will win you Dh75,000."

3.43pm: Another image from Harry Tregoning. Racing folk really will wear anything:

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3.33pm: Full service from Gulf News today. Here's some handy traffic advice:

Ashley Hammond
Ashley Hammond

"Just been up to the fifth floor at Meydan overlooking Nad Al Sheba and out across to Dubai's cityscape. Traffic is really building up outside and the crowds are pouring in. If you haven't already left for the stadium I suggest a taxi! "

3.26pm: Authoring and racing journalist Harry Tregoning, working for Gulf News this week, gives us this picture of Japanese race fans dressed up for the occasion:

3.15pm: For the (very few) of you who didn't pick up a copy of Gulf News today, here's the front page of the special sport section, as designed by our man Nino Jose G Heredia...

3.07pm: Here's Ashley Hammond suggesting you shouldn't follow what you read in the papers (or maybe you should?):

Ashley Hammond
Ashley Hammond

"Journalists busy filling in their Pick 6 forms. This is where you see writers go back on what they have written in the newspaper all week only to follow their hearts and not their heads. Who said romance was dead?"

3pm: And Lesley is excited to bump into the outgoing CEO of Dubai Racing Club:

Leslie Wilson Jr
Leslie Wilson

"Ran into THE MAN - Frank Gabriel Jr., the CEO of Dubai Racing. It's his last World Cup before he relocates to America to take up a position as Racing Secretary with the New York Racing Association. Nicked named 'Mr. Hands on' for his effusive style of management, he cupped his hands over the mouthpiece of his wireless he was talking on, to shake my hand and wish me luck. Luck, that seems to be today's catchphrase"

Catch our interview with Gabriel here.

2.55pm: More from Ashley Hammond, who seems to be enjoying himself a bit too much:

Ashley Hammond
Ashley Hammond

"Lots of backslapping and good humoured banter in the media room amongst photographers and writers. This really is the end to a long hard racing season for local media. We're almost over the line bar one last push. With a mixture of excitement and anticipation we'll bring you all the big stories from this afternoon's action."       

2.40pm: The official Dubai World Cup Twitter feed has posted a timely reminder of exactly ow much cash is on the line tonight: Their tweet reads: "$27.2 is going to be won and lost in this parade ring later", with a link to a picture by Neville Hopwood:

2.30pm:

Leslie Wilson Jr
Leslie Wilson

Guess who I bumped into outside the Parade Ring? Top Irish trainer Aidan O'Brien, who saddles the 3-1 favoruite, Ruler Of The World, in the big race. We exchanged a warm hand-shake and I couldn't but help ask him how he fancied his horses' chances. He flashed me his trademark smile and crossed his fingers. That summed it up for me. You need a bit of luck to win a race like the Dubai World Cup. Wonder if he will get some of it tonight?

2.15pm: Meanwhile, there's an international buzz in the press room:

Leslie Wilson Jr
Leslie Wilson

"The press room is swarming with journalists and photographers from the Far East. And they're all wearing smiles! Is that an ominous sign for the 16 horses representing Japan and Hong Kong? Conceivably. The news is that the Japanese and Hong Kong trainers really fancy their chances this year.

Akeed Mofeed is the horse being touted as a likely winner of the $10m Dubai World Cup!"

Leslie has dropped us an image of some Far East journalists: