Dubai: Panamanian jockey Luis Saez continued his romance in the Middle East when he rode the Godolphin-owned Mystic Guide to win the $12 million Dubai World Cup in its Sliver Jubilee year at Meydan Racecourse on Saturday.
A year after he rode Maximum Security to win the $20 million Saudi Cup at Riyadh, Saez proved that he is a man for the big occasion with a highly professional display of riding aboard the Michael Stidham-trained horse that appeared to have been unsettled by an incident in the preliminaries.
But once the gates flew open for the start of the 2,000m contest run on the dirt track, Mystic Guide settled down into his rhythm and was always travelling well for Saez. And when asked for his effort, the imposing son of Ghostzapper changed gears like a Formula One car and raced to the line.
Japan’s Chuwa Wizard finished three-and-a-quarter lengths back in second with Godolphin’s French challenger Magny Cours a length-and-a-quarter further behind in third.
“That was the plan, to get a good position and sit there,” said Saez. “He proved that he’s a champion. He’s a young horse and he can only get better and better.” Saez admitted that both he and his horse were affected by a very fractious Great Scot, who was subsequently withdrawn before the start while local challenger Military Law was scratched after bolting from the gates.
“I was a little worried, as he was sweating,” said Saez. “But he’s a professional and did what he had to do in the race. It was my dream when I was a kid to win the Dubai World Cup so this means a lot to me. It’s so beautiful. I want to say hi to my wife, who couldn’t be here today but was watching back home. I love you baby, see you soon.”