The old guard struck gold in the 26th running of the Dubai World Cup at Meydan Racecourse on Saturday evening as Bob Baffert and Frankie Dettori teamed up to claim the glory with Country Grammer.
The Baffert-trained five-year-old can now add his name to a roll of honour that includes greats such as Thunder Snow, American Pharoah, Curlin and Invasor, all the way back to Cigar in 1996.
Country Grammer gave Dettori another famous ride as he edged out Hot Rod Charlie and Chuwa Wizard on the dirt.
“It has been a long time but it is worth it,” said a delighted Dettori, who last won this title in 2006 at Nad Al Sheba. “This is my fourth Dubai World Cup win but I have never won at Meydan.”
“I would say it is mixed emotions as 16 years is too long but this feeling is incredible,” he added before performing his famous flying dismount and helping Baffert lift the famous gold trophy aloft — both of them for the fourth time.
Godolphin’s Real World finished ninth, as Saeed Bin Surour came up short in a bid for a 10th World Cup triumph.
Japan struck an early double as trainer Yoshito Yahagi grabbed the Godolphin Mile and Dubai Gold Cup thanks to Bathrat Leon and Stay Foolish, respectively.
Following Bathrat Leon’s success, Yagahi said: Winning trainer Yoshito Yahagi said: “He’s a good strong front-runner and we know the bends well, so he got a good start and he pushed and he was able to keep it up to the line. We got our tactics right.”
Crown Pride added a third for Japan in the UAE Derby under Damian Lane for trainer Koichi Shintani, while UAE Champion Trainer Bhupat Seemar’s Switzerland took home the Dubai Golden Shaheen with Tadhg O’Shea on board.
Japan added to their haul in the Dubai Turf as Panthalassa was declared an incredible dead-heat winner with John Gosden’s defending champion Lord North.
Shahryar made it five wins on the night for Japan in the Dubai Sheema Classic, before Baffert and Dettori teamed up to see out another famous night in Dubai.
Dubai Kahayla Classic 2,000m (a10f), dirt, $1m
1 First Classs, A de Mieulle (trainer), R Thomas (jockey)
2 Kerless Del Roc, A Al Mehairbi, P Cosgrave
3 Hadi De Carrere, T Fourcy, O Peslier
Godolphin Mile, 1,600m (a8f), dirt, $1m
1 Bathrat Leon, Y Yahagi, R Sakai
2 Desert Wisdom, A Al Shemaili, A de Vries
3 Storm Damage, S bin Suroor, C Soumillon
Dubai Gold Cup, 1,200m (a16f), turf, $1m
1 Stay Foolish, Y Yahagi, C Lemaire
2 Manobo, C Appleby, W Buick
3 Al Madhar, M Al Mheiri, A Fresu
Al Quoz Sprint, 1,200m (a6f), turf, $1.5m
1 A Case Of You, A McGuinness, R Whelan
2 Happy Romance, R Hannon, S Levey
3 Man Of Promise, C Appleby, W Buick
UAE Derby, 1,900m (a9.5f), dirt, $1m
1 Crown Pride, K Shintani, D Lane
2 Summer Is Tomorrow, B Seemar, M Barzalona
3 Island Falcon, S bin Suroor, P Cosgrave
Dubai Golden Shaheen, 1,200m (a6f), dirt, $2m
1 Switzerland, B Seemar, T O’Shea
2 Red Le Zele, T Yasuda, Y Kawada
3 Dr Schivel, M Glatt, F Prat
Dubai Turf, 1,800m (a9f), turf, $5m
1 Lord North, J Gosden, F Dettori
1 Panthalassa, Y Yahagi, Y Yoshida
3 Vin De Garde, H Fujiwara, M Barzalona
Dubai Sheema Classic, 2,410m (a12F), turf, $6m
1 Shahryar, H Fujiwara, C Demuro
2 Yibir, C Appleby, W Buick
3 Authority, T Kimura, C Lemaire
Dubai World Cup, 2,000m (a10F), dirt, $12m
1 Country Grammer, B Baffert, F Dettori
2 Hot Rod Charlie, D O’Neill, F Prat
3 Chuwa Wizard, R Okubo, Y Kawada