GODOLPHIN scored their seventh Dubai World Cup success in 19 runnings of the world’s richest race when African Story (Silvestre de Sousa ) outgunned his 15 rivals in the $10-million event over 2000m on the Tapeta track at Meydan on Saturday night.
The outcome of the race was hardly in doubt from not long after halfway. Mukhadram (Paul Hanagan) went straight to the front with African Story and Hokko Tarumae disputing second place ahead of Ron The Greek, Ruler of the World, Surfer and Cat O’Mountain.
SILVESTRE De Sousa waves at the crowd after his win on African Story. (dubairacingclub.com)
By halfway African Story was cruising in second place on Mukhadram’s heels and it looked likely to be no race when De Sousa asked the seven-year-old to race. That’s precisely what happened. Mukhadram quickened strongly as the runners straightened but African Story went with him and had taken his measure racing into the final 200m.
African Story surged clear to land a $6-million payday for Godolphin by 2.75 lengths from a gallant but outpointed Mukhadram with Cat O’Mountain third ahead of Side Glance. Akeed Mofeed was fifth with Mike de Kock’s Sanshaawes seventh, Military Attack 10th and Ruler of the World 13th.
“I finally found the right horse to win the Dubai World Cup on the Tapeta track. I said two years ago African Story was a Dubai World Cup horse. He’s really special,” said winning trainer Saeed Bin Suroor. He added that African Story would campaign in Europe this year.
De Sousa said African Story ran a “perfect’ race. “He travelled so well in second place and quickened great.”
There were few excuses for the vanquished. Jockey Joseph O’Brien said Ruler of the World had “never let himself down at all on the surface”. He added: “He just didn’t go.”
Joao Moreira said Military Attack had not enjoyed the surface, while Soumillon said Sanshaawes could have been fourth with a clear run. Doug Whyte had no solid excuses for Akeed Mofeed, saying his mount had done his best in the finish after being lent on by Ruler of the World turning for home.
African Story is a seven-year-old gelding by Pivotal from Darley Stud. – extracted from an article by Robert Garner written for tabonline.