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2003 Dubai World Cup Card Results

Date: 03/29/2003

On Saturday the eighth running of the Dubai World Cup was held at Nad al Sheba racecourse in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. The World Cup is the richest race in the world with a $6 million purse, and the race card is the richest in racing with total purses of $15.2 million. With most of the races run over Nad al Sheba’s main dirt track, American horses have traditionally done well shipping to the desert venue, but this year the invaders were shut out with the best finish being Harlan’s Holiday second in the main event. The war in Iraq put a damper on the day, as attendance was only 35,000, down sharply from the over 50,000 who have attended in past years. The war was the reason top U.S. jockeys Jerry Bailey and Gary Stevens, who had ridden in every other World Cup card, did not make the trip overseas. Another disappointment occurred on Friday when Golden Shaheen favorite Xtra Heat had to be scratched after injuring herself in her stall.

Stealing the show from the Americans and local horses was South Africa, which won two of the races on the evening. One of them was Ipi Tombe, the Zimbabwe-bred mare who was recently purchased by Team Valor for a whopping $750,000, and will be brought to the U.S. with the Arlington Million a target.

Dubai World Cup
1 1/4 miles on the dirt

Pgm  Horse              Jockey            Win   Place  Show
 7   Moon Ballad        Dettori          8.80    4.20  3.00
 6   Harlan's Holiday   Velazquez                3.80  3.20
 3   Nayef              Hills                          3.00

Moon Ballad easily trounced the field in the Dubai World Cup.
Winning Time: 2:00.48 $2 Exacta 7-6 39.20 $2 Trifecta 7-6-8 127.20 $2 Superfecta 7-6-8-3 379.40
Results chart

In the headline event, the Group 1 Dubai World Cup, Todd Pletcher trainee Harlan’s Holiday and Godolphin entrant Nayef were cofavored at 5-2 (all pools U.S.), with Nayef the actual betting favorite by a slim margin. But it was 3-1 third choice and local hope Moon Ballad who cashed in, with contract rider Frankie Dettori aboard. Moon Ballad was in contention early, conceding the early running to 10-1 shot Blue Burner. Coming out of the far turn, Dettori roused Moon Ballad and he responded, leaving the rest of the field in his wake and finishing a whopping six lengths clear of Harlan’s Holiday, who was in contention the whole way. The final time was 2:00.48 for the 2000 meters (about 1 1/4 miles) distance over a fast main track. Nayef was another length back in third, and defending World Series champion Grandera was fourth. Winning jockey Frankie Dettori said, "I got the same feeling as I had when riding Dubai Millennium because when I turned for home, I couldn't see the other horses. All that I could hear was the crowd cheering. I knew then that we were going to win as he had plenty left and was enjoying it." Moon Ballad is the first Dubai World Cup winner to be sired by a Dubai World Cup winner, 1997 champ Singspiel. Trainer Saeed bin Suroor said that the ultimate goal for Moon Ballad is the Breeders’ Cup Classic at Santa Anita in October.

Dubai Duty Free
1 1/8 miles on the turf

Pgm  Horse              Jockey            Win   Place  Show
12   Ipi Tombe          Shea             3.60    3.00  2.40
 8   Paolini            Suborics                 6.00  4.20
 9   Royal Tryst        Murtagh                        5.40

Zimbabwe bred filly Ipi Tombe passed most of the field in the stretch and proved she was worth the $750,000 Team Valor and Win Star just spent to buy her.
Winning Time: 1:47.61 $2 Exacta 12-8 23.20 $2 Trifecta 12-8-9 279.60 $2 Superfecta 12-8-9-2 2,919.00
Results chart

The Dubai Duty Free was all about Team Valor’s $750,000 purchase, Zimbabwe-bred and South African-raced filly Ipi Tombe, sent off as the odds-on 4-5 favorite. She did not disappoint her new owners and her many backers, capturing the event in dramatic style. Always in contention but stuck in traffic in 7th place at the top of the stretch, jockey Kevin Shea got her outside the pack and she powered away to win by 3 lengths over Paolini in a time of 1:47.61 over 1777 meters (about 1 1/8 miles) on the turf. She had to survive a claim of foul by jockey Andreas Suborics on second place Paolini, but the claim was eventually withdrawn after a lengthy examination by stewards. A second claim against Paolini by third placed Royal Tryst was disallowed. Shea said afterward, "Mike (trainer de Kock) told me to be patient as we knew about how she can quicken. I allowed her plenty of time to settle and I switched her off, but when I asked her for her effort, the hairs went up on the back of my neck. She was absolutely awesome." Ipi Tombe will be trained by Elliott Walden when she arrives in the U.S.

Dubai Golden Shaheen
6 furlongs on the dirt

Pgm  Horse              Jockey            Win   Place  Show
11   State City         Hills          127.00   50.00 14.00
 2   Avanzado           Baze                     6.60  3.60
 3   Captain Squire     Solis                          3.00

State City gave the local contingent their first win this dirt sprint usually dominated by North American entries.
Winning Time: 1:09.95 $2 Exacta 11-2 843.00 $2 Trifecta 11-2-3 4,490.80 $2 Superfecta 11-2-3-12 20,778.00
Results chart

With favored Xtra Heat scratched from the Golden Shaheen, the straight sprint became wide-open, and for the first time a non-U.S. runner captured the top prize. Locally raced 62-1 longshot State City caught 3-1 second choice Avanzado in deep stretch to win by 1/4 lengths in a time of 1:09.95 for the 1200 meter (about 6 furlong) dash. Winning trainer Paddy Rudkin said, "Once the favorite (Xtra Heat) came out, that did increase our hopes as we knew she was the one to beat." State City is slated to move to the U.S., to an as yet unnamed trainer.

Dubai Sheema Classic
1 1/2 miles on the turf

Pgm  Horse              Jockey            Win   Place  Show
14f  Sulamani           Dettori          3.80    2.80  2.20
 1   Ange Gabriel       Jarnet                   3.60  3.00
 6   Ekraar             Hills                          6.60

Sulamani won a hard fought victory over Ange Gabriel in the Sheema Classic.
Winning Time: 2:27.67 $2 Exacta 14-1 18.60 $2 Trifecta 14-1-6 138.60 $2 Superfecta 14-1-6-12 1,030.20
Results chart

The U.S. pools started the day with the Sheema Classic, a 2400 meter (about 1 1/2 miles) turf event. French Derby winner Sulamani, purchased by Godolphin after he finished second to their horse Marienbard in the Arc de Triomphe last year, was part of the 3 horse mutuel field sent off at 4-5. He came on late after trailing early and won by 1/4 length, holding off Ange Gabriel in deep stretch with a final time of 2:27.67. Winning jockey Frankie Dettori said, "It is unbelievable. I thought it was impossible to win. This was a performance out of the top draw."

Despite it being a non-wagering event in the U.S., the UAE Derby is the world’s richest derby with a $2 million purse, and is the only Kentucky Derby prep race run at the classic 1 1/4 mile distance. Also unique is that this derby is open to Southern Hemisphere 4 year olds, one of which was South African bred Victory Moon. He was 7th with three furlongs to go but came on late in the stretch to gain the lead with 100 yards to go and hold off local hope Songlark by 1/2 a length in a time of 2:02.45. Godolphin’s main Derby hope Inamorato was 2 3/4 lengths back in third, but trainer Saeed bin Suroor said he will likely be sent to Kentucky given that he had a very troubled trip and still finished well. He said "I believe still the horse is good enough to win big races and maybe we will still run in the Kentucky Derby. The horse just didn't have any luck. Frankie said he was stopped more than once."

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