Updated on 04/03/2012 3:57PM

Dubai World Cup: Godolphin exacta high point on an emotional night of racing

Andrew Watkins
Monterosso coasts to the wire in the Dubai World Cup as his jockey Mickael Barzalona shows off for the crowd.

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates - On a night of mixed emotions at Meydan, Sheikh Mohammed’s Godolphin Racing celebrated a return to prominence on its biggest stage, running one-two in the $10 million Dubai World Cup with Monterosso defeating Capponi by three lengths.

However, the victory came on a night when two horses died - including one of Godolphin’s - after management made a questionable decision to re-run the $1 million Gold Cup after having to scrap it when Godolphin’s Fox Hunt suffered a fatal injury during the earlier scheduled running.

“That’s racing,” Simon Crisford, the racing manager for Godolphin, said while the crowd saluted Sheikh Mohammed in the winner’s circle. “There’s highs and lows always.”

Monterosso’s victory was Godolphin’s sixth victory in the World Cup, but first since Elocutionist won it in 2006. Monterosso finished third in it last year, and only made one start since. Crisford said the horse got the rest of 2011 off after developing colic shortly after the World Cup.

In his one start this year, Monterosso finished fourth behind Capponi in Round 3 of the Maktoum Challenge.

“The whole idea was to get him here tonight,” Crisford said. “He needed his prep run, ran well, needed it, improved a ton from that race. Came here fresh and well and he was the best horse on the night.”

 Under Mickael Barzalona, Monterosso raced close up to a modest pace established by last year’s World Cup runner-up Transcend. Monterosso was three wide, just inside of Game On Dude, who was maneuvered to a four-wide and up close position by Chantal Sutherland after breaking slowly.

 Coming to the top of the stretch, Monterosso made a move to the leaders, which included his stablemate Capponi, who had taken over from Transcend after six furlongs in 1:13.60.

 Monterosso made the lead inside the eighth pole. With about 40 yards to run, Barzalona stood up in the irons, waving to the crowd with his right hand while holding the reins with his left. Still, the horse won by a comfortable three lengths. He covered the 1 1/4 miles over the Tapeta surface in 2:02.67. Monterosso, trained by Mahmoud Al Zarooni, returned $73.60 in U.S. pools.

It was a half-length back to Planteur in third, who finished one-half length in front of So You Think.

American hopefuls Royal Delta and Game On Dude finished ninth and 12th, respectively, in the 13-horse field. Silver Pond was scratched in the morning due to lameness.

Bill Mott, the trainer of Royal Delta said jockey Jose Lezcano told him that “around the second turn it’s like she started not getting a hold of the racetrack. She just started swimming on it a little bit.”

Bob Baffert, the trainer of Game on Dude, said his horse got tired after breaking slowly and having to be used a little to get position. For Baffert, it capped a disappointing night - The Factor finished sixth in the Golden Shaheen - in a week that began with him suffering a heart attack.

“The only good thing is I came out of it alive,” Baffert said. “I’m living.”

Unfortunately, there are two less horses living than when the day began.



Kyri Freeman More than 1 year ago
There are no drugs allowed in Dubai racing, so that can't be blamed for the injuries in the Gold Cup, and the three (is it two or three counting Foxhunt?) fatalities took place on turf -- although I wonder if something was going on with that turf course considering how many horses didn't run well or pulled up. I'm not sure of the breeding of the horses but I would think at least some had stamina-oriented European breeding. I can't figure out why they chose to go with Tapeta rather than a more dirt-like synthetic such as Cushion Track. American GI and GII horses do not normally run on this idiosyncratic surface, and with our turf horses usually at a disadvantage in European-style turf racing, this means American competitors will rarely be able to succeed in Dubai, and I wouldn't think most trainers would waste their time.
Ray Sousa More than 1 year ago
i think events like this and even the breeders cup ilustrate just how much the quality of racing has fallen in the usa due to greeed,drugs and cheating,until this trend is reversed our horses will continously be thumped in any race where they have to compete without drugs,and on grass in races over 7 furlonghs even the drugs cant help them,just think what would happen if the europeans started breeding dirt horses,the travel excuse doesnt hold up they travel over here and take just about every grass stakes even with their 3rd stringers,did anywone notice the facilities,the stabling area,compare that to our top tracks,the stabling area at places like saratoga and pimlico are a jocke,if grooms turn on fans the circuit breakers switch off the electricity,the distance between the dubai or japan facilities to ours are huge,so is the quality of racing.
Robin Dawson More than 1 year ago
So true. Did you notice that nobody was concerned with the fractions or race times? As you say, this is a first class facility that now, as was evidenced by the truly international fields, is the premier racing event in the world. Indeed, the Breeders' Cup guys need to do some soul searching...as American stock is no longer competitive.
LadyZen More than 1 year ago
I can just imagine what PETA would be doing and saying if they were over in Dubai. Congratulations to all the connections and respect to the animals that were lost. It was great to see Bob Baffert at the track, too.
michael More than 1 year ago
Anyone that bets green money on this Dubai Racing should have their head examined....with the travel and all the variables, who knows what goes on over there....
st More than 1 year ago
Bloodline handicapping rings true worldwide. Study up michael and you might win some real green someday
Andy Adinolfi More than 1 year ago
I really have to disagree here. To me, Dubai is one of the few days left in the racing year when you can really make some money. One thing you might try next year is following the odds in the UK on Betfair as the card is being run. For example, Giant Ryan was 9-2 over here... 50-1 over there. Finding horses that are overlays in North America is a terrific strategy. I used it successfully with Ortensia and Daddy Long Legs yesterday. I can't say I really loved Daddy Long Legs, but at 10-1, any Scat Daddy runner is worth a play, and he was something like 6-1 in the UK.
Riposte More than 1 year ago
To the editors: Why aren't the prices on your results page? I didn't bet the race, just curious. These days, I pay very little attention to this race day (as opposed to heavily betting on it in the 90s-00s). So many things about this event - that require an acute attention to detail - just get dropped through the cracks, No loss. Plenty of better things to do.
Riposte More than 1 year ago
David, I appreciate the difficulties that you face on this trip, despite the technological advances that have been made. Covering a race day like this thousands of miles from home - despite the benefits - is a hard assignment. Saratoga it is not! So when you keep back, ponder how your second paragraph may have been written more clearly (Hint: You're trying to get too much info into one sentence). ("However, the victory came on a night when two horses died - including one of Godolphin’s - after management made a questionable decision to re-run the $1 million Gold Cup after having to scrap it when Godolphin’s Fox Hunt suffered a fatal injury during the earlier scheduled running.")
Kathryn Baker More than 1 year ago
this article is frustrating to me, had to read comments to find out what went on.
Mike Bilinskas More than 1 year ago
Just like in the Breeders Cup the Foreign Riders outshine the US based ones, the gap is growing too, US based riders are really some of the worst around.
Teri Blaser More than 1 year ago
It was Bronze Cannon who had to be euthanized. They said it was his left front that was severely injured but what I saw was a horse being pulled up balancing on three legs, with the right front being the injured leg. Grand Vent was pulled up also with a hind leg injury. It was a horrible race.
Teri Blaser More than 1 year ago
To silver_charm, the second horse that broke down was in the running of the Dubai Gold Cup. It was rerun after the World Cup. Can't find who it was but did see it on TV. It was horrible to see the horse's right from flopping around. That race was cursed I think.