Jockey Alan Garcia smiles aboard Regal Ransom as they return after winning the UAE Derby.
The $2 million UAE Derby (G2) is the final leg of the UAE Triple Crown, and is used by Godolphin to determine which of their 3-year-olds earns a trip to the Kentucky Derby. However, unlike other Derbies, this one is open not only to 3-year-olds but also to Southern Hemisphere 4-year-olds. A field of 12 went to post in this 1800 meter (about 1 1/8 mile) trip on the main track at Nad al Sheba. As expected, Godolphin's main Kentucky Derby hope Desert Party was sent off as the 2-5 favorite, having won the Ford Flex Trophy in January and the UAE 2000 Guineas in February. In to challenge the stable star included 10-1 second choice Naval Officer, third in the Meydan Classic on the turf after winning the Prix de Conde at Longchamp, and 14-1 Jose Adan, second in the Al Bastakiya last time out.
Regal Ransom wins the UAE Derby over Desert Party
16-1 Regal Ransom and 25-1 So Shiny went to the front soon after the start and dueled for the lead for the first 7 furlongs, through fractions of 24.64, 48.15, and 1:13.06 over the fast main track, while Desert Party sat in mid-pack saving ground down on the rail early. Turning for home, So Shiny tired allowing Regal Ransom to take over the undisputed lead, getting the mile in 1:37.39. Jockey Frankie Dettori took Desert Party out and asked him for run at the 5/16 pole, as the favorite closed strongly on his stablemate. However, Regal Ransom held him off by just 1/2 a length at the line, getting the distance in 1:50.00. It was a long 15 lengths back to late running 16-1 Soy Libriano in third.
Results Chart for the race from Emirates Racing Authority. Results for US wagering:
3rd RACE NAD AL SHEBA - UAE DERBY (Group 2) 1 Regal Ransom $28.80 $6.80 - 5 Desert Party $2.10 - 11 Soy Libriano (ARG) $7.80 - Running time - 1:50.00 $1 Exacta 1-5 $20.60 $1 Trifecta 1-5-11 $166.20 $1 Superfecta 1-5-11-7 $2,515.70
Left: Regal Ransom returns after the race.
Right: Regal Ransom heads for the winner's circle with trainer Saeed bin Suroor on the far right. Suroor said, "I always said this horse could be a surprise horse, I am happy with that, and we will see (about the Kentucky Derby) as there is no plan yet for him."
Left: Regal Ransom heads out of the paddock before the race.
Right: Regal Ransom returns to the barn in his new winner's blanket. Winning jockey Alan Garcia said, "I am so happy that I got the opportunity to ride and the plan worked perfectly. He relaxed in front and when the other horse came to him, he dug deep and found a bit more. This is my first experience of the Dubai World Cup and it is awesome."
Left: Second place finisher Desert Party in the post parade. His jockey Frankie Dettori said, "He ran flat. We beat the winner 4 3/4 lengths last time, but tonight I just could not get to him."
Right: Third place finisher Soy Libriano. His jockey Ahmed Ajtebi said, "I am very happy with third, I kicked him in the straight and he responded. The horses that came first and second are class. He stayed quite well, but he needs a shorter trip." Ajtebi had an excellent day as he went on to win both the Duty Free and Sheema Classic later in the card.
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