Triumph and tragedy as track records tumble at 2021 Dubai World Cup


Three new track records were set at the silver jubilee running of the Dubai World Cup meeting on Saturday, but one ended in triumph and another in tragedy.

Deryan set the first of the three records in the opening Dubai Kahayla Classic. Ioritz Mendizabal, in the silks of Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed’s Yas Racing, bagged the Group 1 race for the Purebred Arabians in a time of two minutes and 11.87 seconds.

“He did it really well this time,” Guillemin said. “He was quite nervous last time when he ran in Riyadh. This time, he was much calmer and we rode him differently, a little further back.”

The second track record came in the third race of the night, delivered by Mark Johnston’s Subjectivist in the Group 2 Dubai Gold Cup.

Joe Fanning guided Subjectivist to a five-and three-quarter lengths triumph over Walderbe to win in a time of 3:17:77 over the 3,200m distance on turf for a long-awaited Dubai World Cup night win for Johnston.

“We’ve had Carnival winners but this is the first success on World Cup night for 22 years,” he said. “But frankly, we hadn’t been bringing the right horses. We came here thinking surely he was the one to beat. He was a Group 1 winner on his last outing, he didn’t have to improve – he just had to run up to his best.”

The celebrations of the third and final track record proved short-lived following Zenden’s superb win in the Group 1 Golden Shaheen. Shortly after jockey Antonio Fresu led his horse to a dominant 1:09:01 victory, Zenden suffered an injury and crashed to the ground.


Best photos from 2021 Dubai World Cup



Fresu was dislodged and sent tumbling to the track, where he quickly spun around to face, and dodge, the oncoming horses. While the jockey escaped unharmed, the race-winning horse had to be put down.

In the penultimate race of the night, Saudi Cup winner Mishriff carried Saudi Prince Faisal’s silks to victory in the $5million Group 1 Dubai Sheema Classic.

John Egan timed his run perfectly on the John Gosden-trained runner to edge out Japanese pair Chrono Genesis and Loves Only You in a three-way battle to the line.

Satish Seemar’s Secret Ambition was another impressive winner on the night under UAE champion jockey Tadhg O’Shea in the Group 2 Godolphin Mile.

“He’s the most deserving horse in this field and most experienced and it’s perfect,” Seemar said.

O’Shea dedicated the win to Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid, Minister of Finance and Deputy Ruler of Dubai who passed away earlier in the week.

“The whole racing world sadly lost Sheikh Hamdan and I want to dedicate this to him,” he said.

“It was when I was champion apprentice in Ireland in 2001 that Sheikh Hamdan sponsored a trip to Dubai and I’m coming back here ever since. I have been here a long time and it wouldn’t have been possible without him.”

Published: March 27, 2021 09:45 PM