6th April, 2012 - Posted by Elliot Slater - Comments Off
Rarely has Sheikh Mohammed appeared quite so animated as he was after his Monterosso led home stable companion Capponi to a brilliant 1-2 for Godolphin in the Dubai World Cup, writes Elliot Slater.
It was the Sheikh’s dream of creating an outstanding racing facility in his homeland of Dubai that prompted the construction of the stunning Meydan racetrack, a truly 21st century sporting arena that replaced the original home of the World Cup just down the road at Nad al Sheba. Although he had won the race a number of times before, sending out both the winner and the runner-up, was surely more than Mohammed had hoped for.
Ridden by the exuberant French teenager Mickael Barzalona, Monterosso, (who had finished third in the race 12 months earlier), was well fancied in the horse racing betting and lived up to its billing by storming through to cut down Capponi well over a furlong from home before surging clear to score by three-lengths, with Barzalona standing bolt upright in the irons much as he did last summer when partnering Pour Moi to a far harder fought success in the Investec Epsom Derby. Capponi in turn finished half-a-length in front of Marco Botti’s Planteur, with So You Think – favourite among racing betting tips a further half-length away in fourth having held every chance two furlongs from home before fading approaching the distance.
The Mahmood al Zarooni-trained winner was (like the runner-up), originally taught his trade by Middleham handler Mark Johnston, for whom he won the Group 2 King Edward VII Stakes at Royal Ascot in 2010, and having been beaten just three-quarters-of-a-length by Japan’s Victoire Pisa in last year’s renewal of the World Cup should probably have gone off at shorter odds than the rewarding 20/1 SP return.
Although no firm plans have yet been made for the winner or the runner-up, they will surely be entered in all the top 10 & 12 furlong events around Europe this spring and summer.