Owner Derrick Smith and trainer Aidan O'Brien celebrate with the trophies after winning the Dubai Sheema Classic with St. Nicholas Abbey
Dubai World Cup results
The $5 million Dubai Sheema Classic (G1) is the last of four scheduled turf races held on Dubai World Cup night. A field of 11 older horses went 2410 meters (about 1 1/2 miles), one complete circuit of the turf oval at Meydan Racecourse in Dubai. Japan Cup (G1) and Japanese Filly Triple Crown winner Gentildonna was sent off as the 11-10 favorite over 7-2 second choice St Nicholas Abbey, third in the Breeders' Cup Turf (G1) last out, and 6-1 third choice Await the Dawn, off a second place finish in the Dubai City of Gold (G2), the major local prep for the Sheema.
St Nicholas Abbey and Gentildonna in the stretch
8th RACE MEYDAN - DUBAI SHEEMA CLASSIC (Group 1) 6 St Nicholas Abbey (Ire) $8.80 $3.00 - 8 Gentildonna (Jpn) - $2.20 - 9 Very Nice Name (Fr) - $9.60 - Running time - 2:27.70 $1.00 EXACTA 6-8 $12.60 $1.00 TRIFECTA 6-8-9 $167.70 $1.00 SUPERFECTA 6-8-9-10 $1,055.60
Left: St Nicholas Abbey in the winner's enclosure.
Right: The trophy presentation for the Sheema Classic with winning trainer Aidan O'Brien, owner Derrick Smith, and jockey Joseph O'Brien. Aidan O'Brien said, "I'd always felt this horse wanted to be ridden back but Joseph and Derrick (Smith) said they wanted him to be ridden forward and they got their way today, so perhaps they were right."
Left: St Nicholas Abbey heads out for the post parade. Winning jockey Joseph O'Brien said, "There didn't seem much pace on paper and (part-owner) Mr. Smith said maybe we should ride him a bit further forward and see what happens. This horse is very tough, very special, gives his best every day, relaxes, and finds plenty. It turns out you can ride him any way you want."
Right: St Nicholas Abbey heads back to the barn after the race.
Left: Second place finisher and beaten favorite Gentildonna before the race. Jockey Yasunari Iwata said, She ran very well today and was in good form. She travelled a little wide and that maybe cost me a bit, and that's maybe why she couldn't catch the winner."
Right: Third place finisher Very Nice Name before the race. Jockey Olivier Peslier said, "He gave me a good finish. Third place is very good and he sets the standard in Qatar. I was expecting him to run well and I'm very happy for my boss."
Cavalryman leads down the stretch
The $1 million Dubai Gold Cup (G3) is the longest race on World Cup night, contested at 3200 meters (about 2 miles) on the turf. Imperial Monarch was sent off as the 5-2 favorite in the field of 10 off a 6th place in the Pattison Canadian International (G1). In to challenge him included 7-2 second choice Cavalryman, third in the Dubai City of Gold (G2) last out, and 9-2 third choice Tenenbaum, fourth in the Nad al Sheba Trophy (G3).
Jockey Declan McDonogh sent 5-1 fourth choice Saddler's Rock to the lead, and he set fractions of 28.98, 55.15, 1:21.67, 1:48.08, 2:14.48, 2:40.43, and 3:03.45 while stalked by Tenenbaum and 11-2 fifth choice Ahzeemah. In mid-stretch, Saddler's Rock tired as Cavalryman, 6th early, rallied to gain the lead. In the final furlong he drew off to win by 3 1/2 lengths over Ahzeemah in 3:25.31 over the firm course. It was another 1/4 length back to 12-1 Verema third, while favorite Imperial Monarch checked in 6th.
Results Chart for the race from Emirates Racing Authority which includes a link to the video replay. Results for US wagering:
10th RACE Maydan Racecourse - DUBAI GOLD CUP (Group 3) 3 Cavalryman (Gb) $9.40 $3.80 - 2 Ahzeemah (Ire) - $3.40 - 6 Verema (Fr) - $7.40 - Running time - 3:25.31 $1.00 EXACTA 3-2 $25.10 $1.00 TRIFECTA 3-2-6 $265.90 $1.00 SUPERFECTA 3-2-6-5 $3,049.30
Left: Cavalryman in the winner's enclosure with trainer Saeed bin Suroor. Suroor said, "We had tried him over the two miles last year and he got the trip well when winning at Sandown so we were very happy with the horse. The reason I was confident tonight was that the horse has a very good turn of foot."
Right: Cavalryman heads back to the barn. Jockey Silvestre de Sousa said, "Everything went to plan for me – the pace was a bit slow to halfway and I was happier when it quickened. He travelled well throughout and quickened up well. It is a big night but the pressure will come later. At least the Godolphin horses are running well."
Second place finisher Ahzeemah in the walking ring. Jockey Kieren Fallon said, "It was very tough as they crawled. My lad pulled up in front so I had to sit and suffer. That was a big run."
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