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 2007 when Invasor won the Dubai World Cup.
A year earlier in 2006, the UAE Derby assembled its strongest field, but all were put firmly in their place when Discreet Cat turned in one of the more impressive performances seen at the Dubai World Cup meeting. And one of the horses to face defeat was the unbeaten South American Invasor. A year on and Discreet Cat and Invasor had gone on to better things in America, Discreet Cat maintaining his unbeaten record and graduating to Group 1 success in the Cigar Mile while Invasor had collected Horse of the Year honours after four consecutive wins, all at Group 1 level, highlighted by his season ending victory in the Breeders’ Cup Classic. Invasor returned for a fifth successive Group 1 win in the Donn Handicap at Santa Anita, a race won by previous Dubai World Cup-winners Cigar and Captain Steve.
The Dubai World Cup was beginning to be seen as a two horse race by some, with Invasor and Discreet Cat capturing most of the attention, however Premium Tap, third to Invasor in the Breeders’ Cup Classic, was impressive when taking the King’s Cup in Saudi Arabia. Vermilion, third in the Japan Cup Dirt had returned for two impressive wins in Tokyo and arrived with a solid reputation. Trainer Clive Brittain was hoping Kandidate could emulate Moon Ballad in 2003 by taking the Dubai World Cup after winning the second round of the Al Maktoum Challenge.
In the big race the expectation was that Kandidate would lead, as he had done in the Al Maktoum Challenge, that came as the first surprise as he settled at the rear of the field, with Discreet Cat behind him, as Premium Tap and Forty Licks took up the running. Bullish Luck raced very keenly in the early and middle stages while Invasor settled perfectly midfield on the outside of Vermilion. Premium Tap took the lead at the 800m as Forty Licks came under pressure and had the majority of his rivals chasing as the field turned for home, however Invasor was the one that was going well.
Discreet Cat came wide on the home turn, but was clearly in trouble as Premium Tap and Invasor drew clear. Bullish Luck was making some ground without threatening, but it was the front two that drew away. As brave as Premium Tap was, Invasor confirmed his superiority and the form of the Breeders’ Cup Classic from the previous October when he drew away to win by over a length, living up to his billing as the world’s best horse. The Dubai World Cup win was his final appearance, his eleventh win in twelve starts, following which he was retired on his return to the USA.
Dubai Racing Club Press Release
Photo: Invasor, (Dubai Racing Club)