Prince Bishop wins the twentieth running of the Dubai World Cup in 2015

March 22, 2021

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 week, we will pay tribute to each of the previous Dubai World Cup winners. Today, we rewind to 2015 when Sheikh Hamdan Bin Mohammed Al Maktoum’s Prince Bishop won the Dubai World Cup under William Buick for Godolphin trainer, Saeed Bin Suroor.

If at first you don’t succeed, try, try and try again. Prince Bishop’s previous attempts on the Dubai World Cup didn’t suggest that he could reverse all of that form in 2015. However, he had shown he was comfortable on the new Meydan dirt surface.

A pair of seconds in the race’s two main lead-ups, the second and third rounds of the Al Maktoum Challenge confirmed that. Still, in previous years he had gone into Dubai World Cups with similar form but had come up short, his best effort in three previous attempts was his seventh to Monterosso in 2012.

Between those attempts he had also managed to run in a Longines Dubai Sheema Classic but could beat only one home behind St Nicholas Abbey in 2013. This was his fifth appearance at a Dubai World Cup meeting. However the portents were there earlier in the programme when the Irish sprinter Sole Power broke through for a major success at the meeting when winning the Al Quoz Sprint at the fifth time of asking.

Prince Bishop was defying the general pattern of racing on the new dirt surface at Meydan, making up many lengths in his races to finish second behind Frankyfourfingers and African Story in the final two rounds of the Al Maktoum Challenge.

A year previously however Prince Bishop had won both of those races but in the Dubai World Cup itself could finish only ninth. Whilst it was similar form for the 2015 renewal, many were of the belief that he had had his chance to win the race previously but had come up short. As an eight-year-old, and with his pattern of racing, many others were preferred. Those gaining most attention were the Americans, back in Dubai with the return to dirt and among them, the Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes winner California Chrome, who also arrived as the reigning USA Horse of the Year.

Bill Mott, trainer of the inaugural winner Cigar, again returned to Meydan hoping Lea could fare better than his top-class mare, Royal Delta in two previous attempts, while local trainer Doug Watson had secured a strong prospect with the purchase of Candy Boy. Prince Bishop’s stablemate, African Story put a successful defence of his 2014 title back on track with a win in the final round of the Al Maktoum Challenge while Japan returned with Hokko Tarumae, firmly expected to fare better than  the previous year when last of the 16 runners, particularly with the return to dirt.

Epiphaneia, the runaway Japan Cup winner, was also, quite surprisingly aimed at the Dubai World Cup in preference to the Longines Dubai Sheema Classic however his trainer, Katsuhiko Sumii, is renowned for producing results and the horse had to be respected.

Like in all his other races Prince Bishop showed little or no interest in the early stages and while California Chrome’s connections were delighted with the horse’s outside draw in nine, it would prove to the US horse’s undoing, with California Chrome never getting closer than three horses off the fence and covering an extraordinary amount of extra ground.

Saying that, however, Prince Bishop gave the entire field many lengths start, circled the field going down the back straight and around the final turn and continued that winning run all the way to the line.

On that basis, it would be difficult to justify unlucky runners behind him. California Chrome showed his quality in finishing second despite his horror run while Lea held on for third in front of Candy Boy and Hokko Tarumae. The experiment to try Epiphaneia on the dirt fell short with the horse beaten a long way from home and never handling the surface. Prince Bishop joined Sole Power to win at the fifth attempt and it was a deserved triumph. Shortly after the race it was announced that both he and African Story were to be retired.


Dubai Racing Club Press Release

Photo: Prince Bishop, (Dubai Racing Club)

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