Opinion Poll and Frankie Dettori secure the victory in the Dubai Gold Cup.

Opinion Poll and Frankie Dettori secure the victory in the Dubai Gold Cup.

Mathea Kelley

Opinion Poll Wins Ill-fated Dubai Gold Cup

Marathon is marred by fatal breakdown and two other injuries in rescheduled race.

The two-mile Dubai Gold Cup (UAE-IIIT) marred what was an excellent night of racing at Meydan when Godolphin’s Fox Hunt broke a leg and fell early in the race, causing the proceedings to be halted and rescheduled following the last race, the $10 million Dubai World Cup (UAE-I). Fox Hunt had to be euthanized.

In the rescheduled running of the $1 million Gold Cup, two more horses – Grand Vent and U.S.-bred Bronze Cannon -- were injured and pulled up, while two others – Mikhail Glinka and Makani Bisty – were eased. Bronze Cannon suffered a fractured left front leg and was euthanized. Grand Vent suffered a hind leg injury and was sent to a veterinary hospital. 


The winner was Godolphin’s Opinion Poll, who defeated the former Coolmore's Joshua Tree by three-quarters of a length under Frankie Dettori, with South African-bred Zanzamar a short head farther back in third. The time was 3:23.73.


The victory capped a big night for Dubai ruler Sheik Mohammed's Godolphin, which captured the World Cup (UAE-I) with Monterosso as well as the Godolphin Mile (UAE-II) with African Story.


“It’s been a great night for the team and I’m pleased it’s gone so well for us," Dettori said.  "I was very happy to win this race and it all went according to plan. I think we’ll target the Ascot Gold Cup in June.”


Opinion Poll, bred by Darley and trained by Mahmood Al Zarooni, is a 6-year-old son of Halling out of Ahead, by Shirley Heights. He was coming off a second-place finish to Fox Hunt in the Nad Al Sheba Trophy (UAE-IIIT) at 1 3/4 miles March 1.


The ill-fated Fox Hunt went down 300 yards into the race, throwing jockey Silvestre De Sousa. The horse briefly attempted to get up but fell. De Sousa was unhurt.


Stewards abandoned the race because there was not enough time to move the downed horse from the track. Officials alerted the riders and an announcement was made over the public address system.


The Gold Cup was added to the World Cup card for the first time this year.