The Dubai World Cup meeting celebrates its historic 25th anniversary on March 27, with six Group 1 races and three Group 2s, including one of the world’s premier races, the $12 million Dubai World Cup, sponsored by Emirates Airline.
Over the next few weeks, we will pay tribute to each of the previous Dubai World Cup winners. Today, we rewind to 2010 when Gloria de Campeao won the Dubai World Cup held for the first time, at the newly constructed, iconic, Meydan Racecourse.
To define the ideal racehorses for the modern era, one wouldn’t have to search further than Gloria de Campeao, who stamped his career with a deserved success in the Dubai World Cup on his third attempt. In winning Meydan Racecourse’s inaugural Dubai World Cup, Gloria de Campeao further enhanced the merits of Curlin, two years prior, finishing seventh in that event, but emulating Well Armed by graduating from that race to subsequent success in the Dubai World Cup. The emphatic success of Well Armed 12 months previously was in stark contrast to this renewal, the 15th Dubai World Cup providing a fitting, thrilling event that opened Meydan in style.
It took a long while for the judge to decide, but when the three-way photo went the way of Gloria de Campeao it could not be denied. He made most of the running and was there to be beaten, but he held on, despite the late final surges of Lizard’s Desire and Allybar. In the closest of finishes for a Dubai World Cup, the popular view was that Lizard’s Desire had given South African trainer Mike de Kock his first Dubai World Cup, however it was not to be.
Bred in Brazil, trained in France and owned in partnership by Swede Stefan Friborg, Gloria de Campeao epitomizes the international era. Having won on the dirt at Nad Al Sheba, Gloria de Campeao followed his Dubai World Cup second in 2009 with a defeat of Presvis and Bankable in the Group 1 Singapore Airlines International Cup on the turf at Kranji before returning to Dubai and showing his liking for the All Weather Tapeta surface. Gloria de Campeao and Lizard’s Desire were to meet again in Singapore two months later and this time it was Lizard’s Desire who prevailed in another narrow finish however the form of the Dubai World Cup was well maintained, the first and second here having the Dubai Duty Free winner Al Shemali back in third place.
Gloria de Campeao also broke the domination held by horses trained in either the USA or the UAE, becoming just the second horse to be prepared in Europe after Singspiel’s success for Michael Stoute in 1997. Gloria de Campeao was being set for another ambitious international campaign, Australia’s premier weight-for-age race, the W.S. Cox Plate the target, however injury was to deny him, the horse’s retirement announced shortly after and he was sent to stud in Sweden. A total of 11 Group 1 winners went to the barriers for the 15th Dubai World Cup making it the strongest since the inaugural running and there was no more deserved winner.
Dubai Racing Club Press Release
Photo: Gloria de Campeao, (Dubai Racing Club)