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Racing`s epic upset unfolds in Dubai World Cup

  March 30 , 2024

In the heart of the racing arena, where cheers blend with the thundering hooves of powerful horses, a surprising story unfolded at the Dubai World Cup on Saturday. Among the celebrated names like Ushba Tesoro, Senor Escobar and Derma Sotogake, it was the unassuming Laurel River who stole the spotlight. With an unprecedented victory margin of eight and a half lengths, guided by local favorite Tadhg O`Shea and mentored by rising star Bhupan Seemar, Laurel River made history in a race where expectations were defied and excitement soared. With a power that seemed supernatural, Laurel River soared to a sensational victory.

As the celebrations erupted on the stage, it looked as if the jubilation would never cease. But beneath the surface of the festivities lay a story that defied all conventional wisdom. The race did not unfold according to the script; the favored runners faltered, their once-imposing presence dwindling long before their riders could unleash their aggression.

Meanwhile, like a streak of lightning across the desert sky, Laurel River surged ahead midway through the race, carving a path of victory that none could contest. By the time the challengers from behind began their desperate pursuit, the game was already won. There was no hope of catching the elusive front-runner, whose latent brilliance emerged in a spectacle so extraordinary; it transcended the realms of fiction.

In the tumultuous arena of horse racing, where uncertainty reigns supreme and the unexpected lurks around every bend, Laurel River`s triumph stands as a testament to the unpredictable nature of the sport. For in the race of champions, it is not always the favorites who claim the laurels, but those whose who perform the best on the day that matters the most.

Sired by the illustrious Into Mischief, the talented horse was entrusted to the stewardship of Bhupat Seemar. However, Laurel River`s journey was fraught with initial setbacks, a stark contrast to his illustrious pedigree. A lackluster finish in the Al Shindagha Sprint cast shadows of doubt, only for him to rise from the ashes with an emphatic victory in the Burj Nahaar.

Considering his performance thus far, targeting the Godolphin Mile, a race of considerable prestige, seemed like the logical choice. However, Seemar and the innovative minds at Juddmonte opted to challenge the norm. They set their sights on the ultimate goal: winning the Dubai World Cup. This bold decision represented a departure from tradition, aiming for the pinnacle of racing where legends are made and destinies fulfilled.

The risk paid off immensely. Amidst the intense competition of the World Cup, where champions rise and challengers falter, Laurel River didn`t just emerge victorious; he became a symbol of unwavering determination. In the face of uncertainty, he seized his opportunity, and secured his place among the greats of horse racing history.

After drawing 12 of 12 at Wednesday`s barrier draw at the Armani Hotel in the Burj Khalifa, many would have downgraded the chances of Laurel River.

And yet Saturday evening, the underdog decisively surged into a clear lead at the midway stage and went on to score by eight and a half lengths, breaking that particular record held by the legendary Dubai Millennium, who won the 2000 World Cup at Nad al Sheba by six lengths.

Trainer Bhupat Seemar said: “I`m still coming to terms with what`s happened. I think it`ll probably sink in another day or two. It`s absolutely amazing. Tadhg said this morning ‘we`re drawn 12, I`m not going to be two-minded about it, I`m going to go forward.`

“He`s got so much natural pace. He comes out of the gate and this is why we ran him over six furlongs (in the Al Shindagha).

“Tadhg was able to get some easy fractions and then I saw Defunded coming on his outside but he just kept on going further. I expected to see all the closers flying at him but he kept going.

The horses who finished in Laurel River`s wake Saturday amplified just how impressive his victory was. Last year`s winner Ushba Tesoro raced far back for the opening 1600 metres, but wound up with his customary late run to finish second, just beating out recent Saudi Cup winner Senor Buscador for the US$2.4 million second prize. Senor Buscador added to his US$10 million payday in Riyadh with a nifty check for US$1.2 million.

Added O`Shea: “I`ve been fortunate enough to have had Dubai World Cup night winners but you don`t get many opportunities and I`m going to be forever grateful to Juddmonte for keeping me on the horse, they could use anyone and they`re a worldwide operation that`s really successful.

Ushba Tesoro (2nd), jockey Yuga Kawada said: “He was in good form and he ran his race. It was a good run. We managed to beat Senor Buscador today but the winner was too fast and stayed really well in front. We will be prepared for the Breeders` Cup and I believe Del Mar will suit him better than Santa Anita.”

Rebel`s Romance claimed a decisive victory, adding to Godolphin`s impressive streak in the Gr 1 Longines Dubai Sheema Classic. The six-year-old secured Godolphin`s fourth win in the 2400m turf classic since 2017, following in the footsteps of Jack Hobbs, Hawkbill, and Old Persian.

Jockey William Buick, achieving his record fifth win in the race, led Rebel`s Romance to victory with a straightforward strategy. Buick stayed close behind Point Lonsdale, who set a steady pace from the start, with Shahryar trailing behind.

As they entered the final stretch, Rebel`s Romance surged ahead, leaving the chasing pack behind and crossing the finish line two lengths ahead. Shahryar held onto second place, while Liberty Island, a highly anticipated Japanese challenger, finished third.

Trainer Mitsu Nakauchida expressed disappointment with Liberty Island`s performance, noting that while the horse was in good condition, the ground conditions at Meydan may not have suited her style of running. Nonetheless, Nakauchida remained hopeful for better results in the future, apologizing to Liberty Island`s connections and fans for the outcome.

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Total Comments : 1
Posted by Duane Fonseca on ( April 1 , 2024 )
Excellent read.

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