The brazilian horse Glória de Campeão won the $10 million Dubai World Cup on Saturday in a photo finish, nosing out long-shot Lizard's Desire to capture the world's richest horse race.
Glória de Campeão, Lizard's Desire and Allybar practically hit the wire together on the all-weather track at the newly opened Meydan Racecourse.
“This is the best win of my life,” jockey Tiago Pereira said. “It's unbelievable.”
Two favorites — Britain-bred Gitano Hernando and U.S.-based Gio Ponti— never seriously challenged during the 1¼-mile race.
Glória de Campeao, a 6-year Brazil-bred whose name is Glorious Champion in Portuguese, won last year's Singapore Cup. He ran in the previous two Dubai World Cups and was beaten by 14 lengths by Well Armed a year ago.
The World Cup was the highlight of an eight-race card worth $26 million. Despite the economic slowdown, Dubai's rulers shelled out $2 billion to construct two racetracks, a grandstand that holds 60,000 spectators, a 290-room luxury hotel, a marina and a horse racing museum.
Glória de Campeão led all the way until almost getting beat at the finish. Lizard's Desire jockey, Kevin Shea, initially started celebrating before being told he had fallen short by a nose.
Winning trainer Pascal Bary lauded the heart of Glória de Campeão.
“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.”