Dubai World Cup
Deryan, ridden by jockey Loritz Mendizabal and trained by Didier Guillemin wins the Dubai Kahayla Classic race of 25th Dubai World Cup at Meydan racecourse on Saturday 27 March 2021. Image Credit: Virendra Saklani/Gulf News

Dubai: France drew first blood on Dubai World Cup day, winning the Group 1 $750,000 Dubai Kahayla Classic Sponsored By Mubadala, with the hugely impressive Deryan.

Ridden with supreme confidence by Ioritz Mendizabal, Deryan was on the bridal for most of the 2,000m trip before he was asked to rein in front-running Of Alwajel the mount of seven-time UAE champion jockey Tadhg O’Shea.

And he did with ease to win in course-record time and provide Mendizabal with a memorable return to Meydan after his last visit here in 2012.

Mubasher Al Kalediah, the big favourite from Saudi Arabia raced off the pace and on the wide outside before he attempted to close the gap on the leaders but was caught for speed.

“He just loves this track and it gave me a lot of confidence,” said Mendizabal. The winning distances were 0.5 lengths and 3.5 lengths to the third place finisher

The race is exclusively for Purebred Arabians, and Deryan’s emphatic victory demonstrates just why the breed has been making giant strides forward.