• Dubai World Cup

African Story gives Godolphin a super-sixth World Cup

ESPN staff
March 29, 2014
African Story powered well clear in the final furlongs © Getty Images

African Story gave the Godolphin stable and trainer Saeed bin Suroor their sixth success in the world's richest race as the seven-year-old powered to Dubai World Cup victory under Silvestre de Sousa at Meydan.

Front-running Mukhadram could only settle for second as Sousa and African Story raced clear in the final furlongs, with Cat O'Mountain finishing well to complete a Godolphin one-three.

Derby winner Ruler of the World failed to impress as the Aiden O'Brien charge, ridden by son Joseph, failed to recover from a wide draw.

It proved to be a joyous end to Saturday's lucrative card for Godolphin, who endured a string of near-misses in the day's previous races.

The hats were in full display at Meydan © Getty Images

Just a Way produced a superb performance to completely outshine his rivals in the Dubai Duty Free, seeing off the previously unbeaten Vercingetorix by over six lengths to give the Japanese contingent their first winner of the meeting. Sir Michael Stoute's charge Dank, ridden by Ryan Moore, claimed third for Great Britain.

Japan were celebrating again when Gentildonna gave an impressive showing under Moore to win the Sheema Classic, although the race was marred by the death of Mars, who reportedly suffered a heart-attack during the race.

Mars had veered violently at the first turn and tossed jockey Richard Hughes into the railings and was winded by the fall. Cirrus Des Aigles looked to have Gentildonna trapped on the railings but Moore soon got free and clinched the race with a blistering turn of pace.

Certerach was a shock 33/1 winner in the Dubai Gold Cup as the six-year-old edged the heavily backed 7/4 favourite Cavalryman, the leading Godolphin charge. Certerach rallied under Jamie Spencer to beat Cavalryman and jockey De Sousa by a neck for trainer Michael Halford, although De Sousa felt the winner had impeded him. However, following a stewards' inquiry, the result stood.

Spencer was at it again just 40 minutes later to complete a dream quick-time double as he ran out Jamie Osborne's Toast of New York to claim the UAE Derby by two-and-three-quarter lengths from Asmar. Godolphin's Long John failed to get going while O'Brien's Giovanni Boldini rallied too late and had to settle for forth.

Amber Sky had enough in the tank to hold off Ahtoug and favourite Shea Shea in the Al Quoz Sprint. The 5/2 shot showed great pace in the opening furling to provide trainer Ricky Yiu and the Hong Kong contingent with a first winner of the afternoon.

Jockey Joao Moreira then joined Spencer in the double club as he steered Sterling City to victory in the Golden Shaheen. Rich Tapestry tried to challenge but the 9/4 favourite held on for trainer John Moore.

Variety Club defied a wide draw to claim victory in the opening Godolphin Mile for trainer Joey Ramsden. The 11/2 shot finished a length clear of Soft Falling Rain and Paul Hanagan, while French 1,000 Guineas winner Flotilla finished third.

Certerach was a surprise winner in the Gold Cup © Getty Images
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