• Horse Racing

Impressive Kingdom on top of the world

ESPN staff
March 30, 2013
Animal Kingdom powered home to Dubai World Cup glory © AP

Animal Kingdom stormed home to win the Dubai World Cup for trainer Graham Motion, holding off the strong-finishing Red Cadeaux at Meydan.

With Joel Rosario on board, the 2011 Kentucky Derby winner showed an impressive turn of pace two furlongs out to stretch clear of the pack and see off an impressive late challenge from Ed Dunlop's Red Cadeaux, which cruised to second along the far rail.

Marco Botti's Planteur, one of three British runners in the race, held on for third under Ryan Moore ahead of fellow British gelding Side Glance and Jamie Spencer in fourth.

Royal Delta broke quickest from the stalls, setting a steady pace while closely tracked by Animal Kingdom and Andrew Balding's 33/1 shot Side Glance.

Godolphin-owned Hunter's Light travelled well in the early stages but failed to make an impact on the closing straight, eventually fading to a tame finish.

But it was Animal Kingdom, trained by Englishman Graham Motion in Florida, which stole the show and claimed the world's richest prize in horse racing with a performance worthy of winning the $10 million race.

"Turning for home he was going so easily," winning jockey Rosario said. "I tried to get him to relax and he felt really so much at home all the way, it was awesome the way he picked up.

"Earlier in the race I knew there would not be a lot of pace so I decided to let him go 'ping'."

Al Mamun Monlau took the opening race of the carnival, winning the Kahayla Classic by a short head from Paul Hanagan's 12/1 mount Versac Py.

However, Hanagan did get up for victory in the Godolphin Mile on board 9/4 favourite Soft Falling Rain for trainer Mike de Kock. Despite suffering a slow start from stall 13, the 2012 South Africa Champion Juvenile maintained his unbeaten record after powering home in the final half furlong.

It was a successful afternoon for De Kock as evens favourite Shea Shea did not disappoint, claiming victory in the Al Quoz Sprint.

Cavalryman ran out an impressive winner under Silvestre De Sousa in the Dubai Gold Cup, beating stablemate Ahzeemah by three lengths to ensure a Saeed Bin Suroor one-two, ahead of Verema in third.

The Aidan O'Brien-trained Lines of Battle crowned a successful UAE Derby for the Irish challengers, edging right to clinch victory under Ryan Moore ahead of 25/1 shot Elleval. Well-backed 7/4 favourite Secret Number had to settle for third for the Godolphin stable.

The O'Brien team later enjoyed a Carnival double when St Nicholas Abbey powered home to win the Sheema Classic under the impressive Joseph O'Brien. Japanese-trained Gentildonna gave everything on the straight but could not catch St Nic, who finished second in this race last year.

Reynaldothewizard finished first to win the Dubai Golden Shaheen, with the well-fancied Godolphin-owned favourite Mental unable to place.

However, Goldophin enjoyed success when Sajjhaa impressively romped home to claim the Dubai Duty Free, with Silvestre De Sousa mounting his second winner of the evening.

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.