Luis Saez celebrates aboard Mystic Guide as they head to the winner's circle.
The $12 million Emirates Airline Dubai World Cup (G1) celebrated its 25th renewal this year, after last year's edition was cancelled due to the pandemic. Conditions were typical for late March in the Emirates, with clear skies, temperatures in the low 90's, the main track rated fast and the turf rated "good". Originally a field of 14 older horses left the paddock for this 2000 meter (about 1 1/4 mile) trip around two turns of the 1 1/8 mile dirt track at Meydan, however Great Scot unseated jockey Frankie Dettori in the post parade and ran loose on the track, and then when the remaining horses were being loaded into the gate, Military Law broke through the gate and ran free as well, unseating jockey Antonio Fresu. Both loose horses were scratched by the stewards.
Mystic Guide battles Chuwa Wizard in the stretch
Jockey Mickael Barzalona sent 11-1 Hypothetical to the lead first time by and he set fractions of 25.13, 48.91, and 1:12.75 while pressed by 30-1 Capezzano and stalked by Mystic Guide. Entering the stretch, Hypothetical and Capezzano tired allowing Mystic Guide to take over through 1 mile in 1:36.80. Chuwa Wizard put in a strong late rally from 5th to no avail, as Mystic Guide, kept to task by Luis Saez, drew off late to win by 3 3/4 lengths in 2:01.61, just 23/100 off Thunder Snow's track record. It was another 1 1/4 lengths back to late-running Magny Cours third.
9th RACE Meydan Racecourse - DUBAI WORLD CUP (Group 1) 10 Mystic Guide 5.50 2.20 3.30 3 Chuwa Wizard 27.20 9.20 8 Magny Cours 3.80 Running time - 2:01.61 $1.00 EXACTA 10-3 35.60 $1.00 TRIFECTA 10-3-8 211.40 $1.00 SUPERFECTA 10-3-8-6 2,250.40
Results Chart for the race from Emirates Racing Authority which includes a link to the video replay.
Mystic Guide in the winner's enclosure. Winning trainer Mike Stidham said, "I am so happy to be here and the horse performed to his capability. It's a beautiful thing. He was getting antsy in the parade ring and then with a loose horse it made it more difficult, then we had to load a couple times. It was a little scary at the start but he stayed relaxed. All that added to the concerns. He gets a little tough and doesn't like being restrained a lot. I saddled him outside the stall because he was getting a little antsy in the stall. With all of that that went on, I was really concerned, like I said, but he overcame it."
Right: Mystic Guide heads back to the barn with his winner's blanket. This was the 9th Dubai World Cup win for Godolphin and the 12th American-trained winner.
The trophy celebration with trainer Mike Stidham, jockey Luis Saez, and assistant trainer Hilary Pridhan. Winning jockey Luis Saez said, "Our plan worked out. To break well, get a position and then I knew he would give me that kick at the top of the straight - and he did. I didn't want to be too far back and I just asked him turning for home and he kicked. The plan worked out perfectly. He's a young horse and last time I rode him I knew he was a Group 1 winner. Today he proved he is a champion and I know he is going to get better and better. What a nice horse, he has all the ability. It's an honour for me. This was my dream as a little kid and I can't believe I'm here now. It's a dream come true. He was a little nervous before the race and in the post parade, but he does that sometimes and I wasn't too worried. He is just a very talented horse and it is amazing to win this race. I can't believe it."
Right: Jockey Luis Saez aboard Mystic Guide as they head to the winner's circle.
Left: Mystic Guide in the walking ring before the race. Stidham added, "I want to start by giving my condolences on the passing of Sheikh Hamdan," said Stidham. "This was a special night. You're seeing 40 years of emotions right now. I got a good feeling when I saw him lying in third on the backside then down the lane it was amazing. I'm so proud to be here on the 25th anniversary of the Dubai World Cup for Sheikh Mohammed and the sky's the limit for this horse. We'd love to come back next year, I'll know the lay of the land better then!"
Right: Mystic Guide heads out to the track. The next day Saez was fined 50,000 dirhams ($13,614.70) by the Emirates Racing Authority stewards "for using his whip in consecutive strides on two occasions in the straight, first occasion being two times and the second occasion being four times."
Left: Second place finisher Chuwa Wizard heads out to the track. Jockey Keita Tosaki said, "While he was waiting for the race he was relaxed, he jumped out very well and could run his race. I knew the winner was travelling nicely on the final turns but my horse was also moving well and when the pace picked up he showed his turn of foot. When he breezed over the week, he felt really nice. He ran his race but I want to come back to make revenge."
Right: Third place finisher Magny Cours after the race. Trainer Andre Fabre said, "I was delighted. He was given the perfect ride by William. He travelled well, didn't mind too much kick back and well, I couldn't be happier with him." Jockey William Buick added, "He ran fantastic. Mr Fabre was quite confident of a big run, he handled the kickback very well. He travelled beautifully. Look, the winner was strong but Magny Cours finished the race really strong and ran a huge race in third."
Military Law running loose after he broke through the gate and unseated jockey Antonio Fresu. He was 6-1 on the morning line and came here off his 6th place finish in the Saudi Cup in Riyadh after winning the Maktoum Challenge Round 1 (G2) at Meydan.
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