The $6 million Emirates Airline Dubai World Cup (G1) is the world's richest horse race, contested at 2000 meters (about 1 1/4 miles) on the dirt track at Nad al Sheba. A field of seven, the smallest field in its 12-year-history, entered the starting gate with Horse of the Year Invasor sent off as the slight 5-4 favorite over Godolphin hope Discreet Cat at 11-8. Discreet Cat defeated Invasor a year ago in the UAE Derby, but the pair has not faced each other again until now. Also in the field was 7-1 third choice Premium Tap, third in the Breeders' Cup Classic last year. 18-1 Forty Licks, 22-1 Kandidate, 33-1 Vermilion, and 40-1 Bullish Luck rounded out the field, but clearly the event was billed as a two horse race between horses owned by two of the Maktoum brothers, Discreet Cat owned by Sheikh Mohammed and Invasor racing for Sheikh Hamdan. Invasor was attempting to become the third Breeders' Cup Classic winner to win the Dubai World Cup, following in the footsteps of Cigar and Pleasantly Perfect.
After a delayed start when Premium Tap refused to load, the field got underway but Discreet Cat started poorly and was unable to get to the lead. Discreet Cat appeared to be distracted as the field exited the chute and crossed the gap. Dettori swung him to the outside for running room for the backstretch run. Jockey Fernando Jara sat chilly aboard Invasor, keeping the favorite to the outside of the field away from traffic. Premium Tap led the field most of the way with Forty Licks stalking him to his outside. Turning for home, Discreet Cat was still at the back of the field and showed no rally when asked by Dettori, who eased him in the final furlong. Premium Tap continued to lead in upper stretch, but Invasor was gaining ground with every stride. At the 5/16 pole Invasor drew alongside of Premium Tap, and the pair battled head to head for a furlong, until Invasor finally shook off Premium Tap inside the 3/16 pole and pulled away to win by 1 3/4 lengths in a final time of 1:59.97, just 0.47 seconds slower than Dubai Millennium's record set in 2000. It was a long 8 lengths back to Bullish Luck in third, and 5 1/4 more back to Vermilion in fourth.
Results for US wagering:
7th RACE NAD AL SHEBA - DUBAI WORLD CUP (Group 1)
7 - Invasor $4.10 $2.10 -
5 - Premium Tap $2.90 -
3 - Bullish Luck $13.60 -
Running time - 1:59.97
$2 EXACTA 7-5 $13.70
$2 TRIFECTA 7-5-3 $113.60
Winning jockey Fernando Jara celebrates after crossing the finish line. He said, "This is very, very special. To come to Dubai and win the world's richest race is just unbelievable. It looked like it would be a tough race and Premium Tap made it difficult for us. I thought Discreet Cat would be on the lead, but I did not see him, and just concentrated on my horse. He is such a tough horse and I owe him such a lot."
Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al Maktoum presents the trophy to his older brother Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid al Maktoum, the owner of Invasor.
Winning trainer Kiaran McLaughlin with his son Ryan, holding the golden whip presented to his father, and jockey Fernando Jara, also with a golden whip, hold the Dubai World Cup trophy. McLaughlin said, "Sheikh Mohammed hired me in 1993, but it was Sheikh Hamdan who adopted me. He's been like family to me. It was such a tough decision to leave here, but I was missing my family too much, and moved back in 2003. That's why coming back here and winning the Dubai World Cup for Sheikh Hamdan is something I won't be able to beat." When asked where Invasor would start next, he said, "We might look at the Suburban Handicap at Belmont on June 30 next, but this was the real aim."
Second place finisher Premium Tap runs out after the race. His jockey Kent Desormeaux said, "The winner was too good. (Premium Tap) was a little spread out (in the gate), they had him blindfolded. I was like, wait, wait, wait. I pulled the blindfold off and throw in out the back. I no longer get a hold and we're gone. That was the only thing. I enjoyed the ride. Turning for home, I was looking behind me. He set sail. (Invasor) couldn't get me until at least the 3/16, then ate me up. The winner is a freak."
Third place finisher Bullish Luck in the post parade. His jockey Brett Prebble said "This was his first start on dirt, and I have to be pleased with the way that he has run under those circumstances. What more can I say?"
Beaten second favorite and last place finisher Discreet Cat in the post parade and being unsaddled after the race. His jockey Frankie Dettori said, "I am very disappointed. I don't know what to say, I don't know if he didn't stay or if there was some other reason. He was beaten a long way and I can't tell you why."
Simon Crisford, racing manager for Discreet Cat owner Godolphin Racing said, "Discreet Cat has run way below form, I don't know why. He was never going a yard, it was a big surprise to us but that's racing. We will give him some time out now and then get him back to America. It was very disappointing but all the good champions get beaten at some point and he will be back."
Saeed bin Suroor, trainer of Discreet Cat (behind the horse on the right) said, "It doesn't look like Discreet Cat stays the distance and we will drop him back to a mile. It was a disappointing performance tonight and we will see how the horse comes out of the race before making firm plans."
Godolphin veterinarians announced that Discreet Cat was scoped the next morning, "which revealed an obstructive granulomatous mass within his throat, in addition to significant swelling of the underlying throat wall, as a result of an infective process. This would have affected his performance, firstly by physically obstructing the airflow into his throat and lungs, and secondly by causing him significant discomfort. He is now undergoing appropriate treatment and assessments. Discreet Cat had a routine endoscopic examination performed of his respiratory airways earlier in the week, and no abnormalities were found."
PHOTO: Invasor and Fernando Jara after winning the Dubai World Cup.
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<a href="http://www.equestrianmag.com/article/2007-dubai-world-cup-results-3-07.html">2007 Dubai World Cup Results</a> ~ EquestrianMag.com