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Meydan

  • 18:05 Dubai World Cup Sponsored By Emirates Airline 1m 2f

  • (Group 1) 36,626,504 added 3yo+ 16 ran
  • Winner 20,954,027 2nd 7,925,973 3rd 3,937,347 4th 1,802,027
  • Going: Standard
  • Surface: Sand
    Weighed In
  • Off time: 18:07:13

Godolphin's African Story won the Dubai World Cup at Meydan

Last Updated: 29/03/14 8:38pm

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Paul Hanagan is the first to congratulate Silvestre de Sousa

Paul Hanagan is the first to congratulate Silvestre de Sousa

African Story gave Saeed bin Suroor his sixth victory - and Godolphin their seventh - in the Dubai World Cup at Meydan.

Fifth last year and only seen twice this season, he was ridden with great confidence by Silvestre de Sousa and wore down the front-running Mukhadram halfway down the straight.

The 12-1 chance had stretched well clear by the line, while the Investec Derby winner Ruler Of The World, uneasy in the betting and with a poor draw, was struggling from some way out under Joseph O'Brien.

De Sousa said: "He's proved how good he is. I had a bit of bad luck in the earlier races but he has saved the night."

There was a brief scare beforehand when Sanshaawes reared up in the stalls and had to be taken out to pass a veterinary inspection, but Paul Hanagan got Mukhadram quickly in position from a poor draw in gate 13.

He had every chance to present victory to William Haggas and Sheikh Hamdan Al Maktoum, who had been critical of the Tapeta surface, and bravely held on to second.

Completing a great result for Godolphin, the Charlie Appleby-trained Cat O'Mountain stayed on for third, with most of the big names failing to show.

De Sousa said: "He was very unlucky here last time when he banged his head in the stalls, but he has proved he's the boy."

"It's an amazing feeling, one of absolute delight. Godolphin called me to ask me to join their team and I was privileged to accept," de Sousa went on.

"Saeed thought African Story was a great horse. He had a couple of issues, especially on his second start this year, but tonight he was at his absolute best.

"In fact, I had to pinch myself because of how well he was travelling. I got to track the leader on his outside and then in the straight - all I had to do was take aim. It really was the perfect race for me.

"In my first season I managed 25 winners and then I missed out on the championship by just four. Obviously this is a big move in my career, riding for Godolphin.

"There is pressure, but at the same time I think I have shown that I have given my best and that there may still be more to come."

Haggas said of the runner-up: "We've had a goodish result. I'd love to say to Sheikh Hamdan I'd love to have another go next year, but there's a lot of water to come under the bridge before then."

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