Japan's Ushba Tesoro wins Dubai World Cup race at Meydan
Japan's Ushba Tesoro wins Dubai World Cup race at Meydan. Image Credit: Dubai Media Office

Dubai: Japanese raider Ushba Tesoro dashed veteran jockey Frankie Dettori’s hopes of a dream finish after knocking out top favourite Country Grammer to win the $12 million Emirates Airline Dubai World Cup, the showpiece of the $30.5 million Dubai World Cup meeting at Meydan on Saturday.

Ridden for the first time by Yuga Kawada, the six-year outpaced Algiers, ridden by James Doyle, and the 2022 Saudi Cup-winning horse Emblem Road, Adel Al Furaydi up, to clinch the prestigious crown and give Japanese connections the third success of the night.

It was a race where the picture changed markedly in the final two furlongs. As the field turned into the home stretch, fancied Algiers was travelling with ease. However, Ushba Tesoro responded to Kawada’s command to produce a lethal burst to cross the line two and three quarter-length in front, going from last to first. Four of the eight Japanese runners in the race finished in the top 10.

Veteran Italian jockey Dettori, who shares a record four wins in the race, could not add another win to his name as Country Grammer finished a distant seventh.

Despite the dominance by Japan in the world’s biggest races in recent years, it was their only success in the $12 million feature since Victoire Pisa broke through in 2011. It was also their first on dirt, with Victoire Pisa’s success coming on the synthetic Tapeta surface.

“He jumped quite well but the majority of the other Japanese runners ran towards the middle of the pack. I just tried to focus on maintaining the horse’s rhythm and just to keep his rhythm from the middle of the pack. There were eight Japanese horses in the field and aside from myself the only other Japanese jockey on a Japanese horse was Yutaka Yoshida on Panthalassa. I was on the horse for the first time today, but it was a tremendous honour to ride him and there was a lot of pressure as the leading Japanese jockey heading into the race,” Kawada said.

Takagi said: “It’s a great feeling! After watching his previous run (when winning the Kawasaki Kinen last month), the Dubai World Cup was certainly on my mind for this horse and everything went as planned.”

Doyle said he was delighted with Algiers’ run. “It was a first opportunity to run at this top level and he has acquitted himself magnificently. He travelled around like a superstar and it has been a lot from the top bend to the winning line, but his stamina just kind of drained at the end.”

A disappointed Dettori said: “He ran so big in Saudi Arabia and I was never going today. I pushed him but he felt lethargic. When they run so big, sometimes they take longer to recover than you think.”

However, Dettori, riding his final race meeting in Dubai, tasted win aboard Lord North, who created history by becoming the first horse to win three straight renewals of the Group 1 Dubai Turf (1800m). John and Thady Gosden’s seven-year-old arrived at Meydan on the back of a winning prep run in last month’s Group 3 Winter Derby at Lingfield Park and he was always prominent under Dettori.

That victory means that Dettori has bolstered his record as the race’s most successful jockey with four victories. Those have come with the Saeed Bin Suroor-trained Tamayaz (1997), in addition to three on Lord North.

He also extended his lead as the most successful rider at the Dubai World Cup meeting across its near three-decade history, with this marking his 23rd victory since its inception in 1996.

The jockey, who ensured his trademark flying dismount once again graced Dubai, said: “It’s amazing to win once; three times, it’s unreal. Thady has done an amazing job because he’s a horse that gets sick quite easily, that’s why he doesn’t run that often. The boys got him ready for this race and full credit to them, they’ve done great with him.

“And Lord North himself, what a star. To just get one on the board at this beautiful place, in Dubai that has been my home for so many winters, it’s pretty special.”

Another Japanese star Equinox produced a brilliant run to stamp his authority on the 2,410-metre turf race to give Christophe Lemaire a memorable double. The French jockey had guided Derma Sotogake, who really after stepping up in distance from his third-placed finish in the Saudi Derby over a mile last month, to clinch the 1,900-metre UAE Derby, a contest dominated by Japanese horses. Derma Sotogake, the chestnut colt, won unchallenged by five and a half lengths from Dura Erede.

Lemaire took Equinox in to the lead at the first turn and the son of Kitasan Black dictated the race from there on.

“I knew he was the best horse and so I was happy to make the pace. I’m really happy for all of the connections. It’s been a long time since I won the Sheema, the last time was with Heart’s Cry and he passed away two weeks ago. So I am very grateful for this horse and he has allowed me to pay tribute to Heart’s Cry,” Lemaire said. “Race after race, he’s going up the rankings of the horses I have ridden. It was a great, great performance against these kind of horses at the top level. I couldn’t be happier.”

Veteran jockey Ryan Moore also completed a double riding Sibelius and Broome to victories in Dubai Golden Shaheen and the Dubai Gold Cup respectively. Sibelius’ final lunge up the rail in the 1,200-metre Group 1 Dubai Golden Shaheen denied last year’s winner Switzerland by a nose. In doing so he gave Irishman Jeremiah O’Dwyer by far the biggest win of his career and giving the lone win for the American horses.

Moore said: “I was very lucky to pick up the ride. He actually stepped a little slowly, I was a half-length further behind than I wanted to be. We had a charmed run, they just drifted off which meant we didn’t have to change lanes and the horse dug in really deep. He showed a lot of courage and heart to get there. He has form over a little bit further which I think really helped too.”

Moore once again showed his skills by guiding Broome, who took the step up to two miles in his stride, to score another pulsating win in the Group 2 Dubai Gold Cup (3200m).

Broome, whose well-timed challenge was enough to overthrow Siskany and seal a narrow neck success — breaking the course record, set by Subjectivist two years ago, in the process.

It was a first win in the race for both trainer and jockey, quite remarkable given their record in staying races the world over.

That victory provided some welcome compensation for Broome’s part-owner Masaaki Matsushima, who was yesterday forced to scratch leading Japanese hope Do Deuce from the Group 1 Dubai Turf sponsored by DP World.

UAE-based trainer Doug Watson cliched the Group 2 Godolphin Mile for the third time after Isolate left his rivals in isolation to romp to a five and half-length victory, going wire-to-wire under Tyler Gaffalione.

Six-year-old bay gelding Danyah, ridden by Dane O’Neill, outsprinted his rivals to give Shadwell the success in the 1,200-metre Group 1 Al Quoz Sprint.

The World Cup meeting got off to a thrilling start with Hayyan, ridden by Panamanian jockey Oscar Chavez, saving his best for the last to edge out Barakka, ridden by Ray Dawson, to give trainer Majed Al Jahoori his second win in the 2,000-metre Dubai Kahayla Classic, the lone Purebred Arabian race of the night.


1. Dubai Kahayla Classic sponsored by EMAAR, Group I, Purebred Arabians 2000M(10F), Dirt: $1 million
1. Hayyan (M Al Jahoori) Oscar Chavez
2. Barakka (Ahmed bin Harmash) Ray Dawson
3. First Classs (J De Mieulle) Maxime Guyon
4. Dergham Athbah (L Gaitan) Jean-Bernard Eyquem
Distances: Shhd, 8.5, 1.5 lengths
Winning Time: 2:14:15
Winner owned by: Sheikh Mansoor Bin Zayed Al Nahyan
2. Godolphin Mile sponsored by One Zaabeel, Group 2, Thoroughbreds, 1600M(a8F) - Dirt $1 million
1. Isolate (D Watson) Tyler Gaffalione
2. Law Of Peace (B Seemar) Richard Mullen
3. Atletico El Culano (A Cintra) Jose da Silva
4. Bathrat Leon (Y Yahagi) Ryusei Sakai
Distances: 5.5, 0.75, nk
Winning time: 1:35:71
Winner owned by: RRR Racing
3. Dubai Gold Cup sponsored by Al Tayer Motors, Group 2, Thoroughbreds, 3,200M (16F),Turf $1 million
1. Broome (A O’Brien) Ryan Moore
2. Siskany (C Appleby) William Buick
3. Subjectivist (C Johnston) Joe Fanning
4. Ardakan (M Botti) Damian Lane
Distances: NK, 4.75, 1.5
Winning time: 3:16:83
Winner owned by: M Matsushima, Mrs J Magnier, M Tabor, D Smith
4. Al Quoz Sprint sponsored by AZIZI Developments Group I, Thoroughbreds, 1,200M (6F), Turf $1.5 million
1. Danyah (M Al Mheiri) Dane O’Neill
2. The Astrologist (T Corstens) Damian Lane
3. Al Suhail (C Appleby) William Buick
4. Sight Success (J Size) Ryan Moore
Distances: Head, Neck, 0.75 length
Winning time: 1:08:61
Winner owned by: Shadwell
5. UAE Derby sponsored by Atlantis The Royal, Group 2, Thoroughbreds, 1,900M (9.5F), Dirt $1 million
1. Derma Sotogake (H Otonashi) Christophe Lemaire
2. Dura Erede (M Ikezoe) Cristian Demuro
3. Continuar (Y Yahagi) Ryusei Sakai
4. Perriere (Y Kuroiwa) Oisin Murphy
Distances: 5.5, 4.5, 3.5
Winning time: 1:55:81
Winner owneed by: Hiroyuki Asanuma
6. Dubai Golden Shaheen sponsored by Nakheel Group I, Thoroughbreds, 1,200M (6F), Dirt $2 million
1. Sibelius (J O’Dwyer) Ryan Moore
2. Switzerland (B Seemar) Tadhg O’Shea
3. Gunite (S Asmussen) Tyler Gaffalione
4. Hopkins (B Baffert) Lanfranco Dettori
Distance: Nose, 0.5, 0.5
Winning time: 1:10:69
Winner owned by: Jun Park & Delia Nash
7. Dubai Turf sponsored by DP World, Group I, Thoroughbreds, 1,800M (9F), Turf $5 million
1. Lord North (John & Thady Gosden ) Frankie Dettori
2. Danon Beluga (N Hori) Joao Moreira
3. Nations Pride (C Appleby) William Buick
4. Shirl’s Speight (R Attfield) Antonio Fresu
Distance: 0.75, head, 2
Winning time: 1:47:39
Winner owned by: HH Sheikh Zayed bin Mohammed Racing
8. Longines Dubai Sheema Classic, Group I, Thoroughbreds, 2,410M (12F), Turf $6 million
1. Equinox (T Kimura) Christophe Lemaire
2. Westover (R Beckett) Ryan Moore
3. Zagrey (Y Barberot) Christophe Soumillon
4. Mostahdaf (J & T Gosden) Jim Crowley
Distance: 3.5, 2.25, 1.25
Winning time: 2:25:65
Winner owned by: Silk Racing Co Ltd
9. Dubai World Cup sponsored by Emirates Airline, Group I, Thoroughbreds, 2000M (10F), Dirt $12,000,000
1. Ushba Tesoro (N Takagi) Yuga Kawada
2. Algiers (S & E Crisford) James Doyle
3. Emblem Road (A Abdulwahid) Adel Al Furaydi
4. T O Keynes (D Takayanagi) Oisin Murphy
Distance: 2.75, shhd, 0.75
Winning time: 2:03:25
Winner owned by; Ryotokuji Kenji Holdings Co Ltd