African Story storms to Dubai World Cup

African Story sets a track record in Dubai World Cup for Godolphin at Meydan from the Newmarket-trained Mukhadram.

    African Story, ridden by De Sousa, won the $10 million Dubai World Cup in a track record by 2-3/4 lengths [AFP]
    African Story, ridden by De Sousa, won the $10 million Dubai World Cup in a track record by 2-3/4 lengths [AFP]

    African Story, ridden by Silvestre De Sousa, won the $10 million Dubai World Cup in a track record time by 2-3/4 lengths, boosting morale at the Godolphin stable hit by a doping scandal last year.

    Mukhadram, ridden by Paul Hanagan, took second 4-1/4 lengths ahead of third-placed Mickael Barzalona on Godolphin's outsider Cat O'Mountain, completing a clean sweep for local horses.

    The 4-1 favourite Ruler Of The World was a disappointing 13th, finishing more than 16 lengths behind the winner.

    The full field of 16 runners competed in the 2,000 metre contest, the world's richest race, at the opulent Meydan racecourse in front of a crowd of 60,000 people.

    "It's an amazing feeling and he just proved he's the best," De Sousa said of the seven-year-old African Story, a 12-1 chance who was fifth last season.

    "He was very unlucky here last time when he banged his head in the stalls, but he has proved he's the boy."

    Late winning surge

    Darley-bred African Story, trained by Saeed bin Suroor, held close behind leader Mukhadram, a 14-1 chance owned by the Dubai ruler's brother Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid al-Maktoum, for most of the race, surging past with 200 metres to go.

    He crossed the line in a track record time of 2:01:61 minutes with De Sousa standing up in his irons, beating the previous 2012 record by Monterosso by more than a second.

    "It was a perfect race for me as I was travelling at the second place just behind the leaders and he gave me the feeling he was happy to be there," De Sousa told reporters.

    The final race compensated Godolphin for a lack of winners in the previous races on the day.

    Godolphin's reputation suffered a blow last year when its former trainer Mahmood al-Zarooni, who saddled 2012 World Cup winner Monterosso, was banned by the British Horseracing Authority after being found guilty of administering anabolic steroids at his stables in Newmarket.

    SOURCE: Reuters


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