Monterosso wins Dubai World Cup
Monterosso wins Dubai World Cup

Click above to watch Monterosso winning the Dubai World Cup (G1)…

(Image : Virendra Saklani/Gulf News - Footage : Dubai Racing Meydan)

US$10,000,000 DUBAI WORLD CUP (Group 1)

Meydan, All-Weather, 2000m

31 March 2012

Master of Hounds (Kingmambo) won the World Cup break from the inside stall, but was quickly passed by Transcend (Jpn) (Wild Rush), the 2011 runner-up, as Capponi (Ire) (Medicean) loomed up to make the Japanese raider work on the engine. So You Think (NZ) (High Chaparral) slotted in perfectly and enjoyed the run of the race from third, as Monterosso (GB) (Dubawi) was three wide in fifth, but in touch. Game On Dude (USA) (Awesome Again), expected to be a pace presence, was a touch slow to begin and was given rein from jockey Chantal Sutherland to run up into contention outside Monterosso midway up the backstretch. Capponi wrested command from a spent Transcend as they reached the second turn and it was soon clear that Godolphin blue would dominate, as Monterosso crept a bit closer going ominously well. The two 5-year-olds raced on even terms approaching the final furlong, but Monterosso was always doing the better and won comfortably from Capponi, Planteur (Ire) (Danehill Dancer) and So You THink (NZ) (High Chaparral), with the recently retained jockey Mickael Barzalona standing up straight in the irons to salute the crowd. “I couldn’t believe when no one was coming after me. This is a dream,” the 19-year-old Barzalona commented. “I have no words to describe what I feel right now.” And how about his celebratory pose, similar to the one following his Epsom Derby score last year? “I just had to. I had no choice.”

Home-bred but raced by Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed al Maktoum and trainer Mark Johnston at two and three, Monterosso landed the G2 King Edward VII Stakes at Royal Ascot in 2010 before a fourth to Cape Blanco (Ire) (Galileo) in that year’s G1 Irish Derby. Unplaced in two subsequent runs, he was transferred to Godolphin last season and made two starts at the Carnival, defeating stablemate Cavaldos Blues (Fr) (Lando) in the G2 Dubai City of Gold Stakes. That event serves as a prep for the Sheema Classic, but Monterosso was re-routed for the World Cup and took third, beaten 3/4 of a length for the whole pot. He went missing the balance of 2011 and resumed in the G1 Maktoum Challenge Round 3, coming home fourth to Capponi in a race he was certain to need.

Some 11 years ago, Sheikh Mohammed watched as Dubai Millennium (GB) (Seeking the Gold) spread-eagled the World Cup field at Nad al Sheba. Yesterday, he shared a robust embrace with bloodstock advisor John Ferguson and wasn’t immune to a few fist pumps of his own following the win. “We’re absolutely delighted,” Ferguson offered. “You couldn’t get much better than that, could you? It’s wonderful for everybody. The trainer’s a rising star and the jockey, and the owner’s good too. This horse was third in the DWC last year so he was legitimate. Personally, it was a question of whether he needed another race to be ready.” The parentage of the winner is also not lost on connections. Admitted Racing Manager Simon Crisford, “Being a grandson of Dubai Millennium is massively important. Our greatest moments in horse racing with Godolphin were with Dubai Millennium so it’s fantastic.”

Extract from Thoroughbred Daily News