Gloria de Campeao Narrowly Wires World Cup
In a desperate drive to the wire in the world's richest race, Brazilian-bred Gloria de Campeao nosed Lizard's Desire and Allybar in the $10 million Dubai World Cup Sponsored by Emirates Airline (UAE-I) at the sparkling new Meydan Racecourse March 27.
"He just tried and tried and tried," Bary said immediately afterward. "(Lizard's Desire) came so fast, I was not sure (if Gloria de Campeao) won. But I love this horse. He beat some horses (that) may be better than him, but he loves it here. It's so nice for France. It's fantastique!"
“I thought I had won but as we passed the post, I looked across and (Shea) was celebrating, so I thought I’d keep quiet and wait for the result," Pereira said. "The horse settled in front and I dropped my hands 300 meters out and asked him to kick on. He was so brave and this is all just a dream.”
Sent off at 16-1 odds (25-1 in the U.S.), Gloria de Campeao was able to dictate an easy pace and inched away in the home stretch before Allybar, ridden by Ahmed Ajtebi, charged up along the inside to make a race of it. Lizard's Desire, racing in the pack most of the way, came on strong, however, and just missed as all three hit the wire together in a terrific finish.
“It’s a very bitter pill to swallow, but I’ve got to swallow it," Shea said. "When I looked up it was just after the line and I was in front and I thought I’d got it. It’s hard to take. (Lizard's Desire) gave me everything but the winner got it soft up front."
America's top hope this year, Gio Ponti , finished fourth, 1 1/4 lengths behind Allybar.
“I had a great trip," said jockey Ramon Dominguez. "I was very proud of how my horse ran. They were setting a very modest pace in front of me. That really affected my horse. I wish there was a little more pace. They just didn’t come back a whole lot.”
Gitano Hernando, who went off favored in the European betting and finished sixth behind Mastery , was surrounded by traffic in the stretch while racing penned in on the rail.
“They went no pace and consequently, there were traffic problems and everything was blocking up in front of me," said jockey Kieren Fallon. "On a tight track like this, you need some room.”
Richard's Kid , with Garrett Gomez aboard, finished seventh. “I couldn’t get him to quicken," Gomez said. "It was like he was in quicksand. All of a sudden, the last sixteenth of a mile, he started hitting gears."
This was the third race over the new surface at Meydan for Gloria de Campeao, which was a big advantage for the 7-year-old son of Impression out of the Brazilian mare Audacity, by Clackson. The winner was bred by Haras Santarem.
Gloria de Campeao won the one-mile Maktoum Challenge Round 1 (UAE-III) on Jan. 28. Stretched out to the World Cup distance for Maktoum Challenge Round 3 (UAE-II) on March 4, he came up a neck short to World Cup rival Red Desire after setting the pace.
“If he’s alone after he’s taken the lead and no one comes after him, it is so difficult to catch him," Bary said. "He wants to fight.”
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