Dubai World Cup 2012: Monterosso Continues Decade of Longshot Winners

April 1, 2012

Special from Dubai -- Three years, three longshot winners.

The triumph of Godolphin’s Monterosso in Saturday night’s Dubai World Cup maintains an unlikely trend in the world's richest horse race. For three consecutive years, the post time odds on the last three Dubai World Cup winners were all 10-1 or greater.

Monterosso was trained by the UAE’s own Mahmood Al Zarooni, and was one of five horses with UAE ties in the field of fourteen. The 5-year-old Monterosso was a 35-1 underdog at post time.

In last year's 2011 World Cup, Monterosso placed third in a race featuring another longshot winner in Japan’s Victoire Pisa.  Victoire was a 10-1 longshot at post time. In 2010,  Glória de Campeão, at 20-1 odds, beat Lizard's Desire and Allybar in a photo finish.

Many American handicappers consider any horse with odds greater than 5-1, a “longshot.”  Under that definition, Monterosso's victory keeps with the recent pattern of Dubai World Cup longshot winners.


Chantal Sutherland, riding atop Game On Dude, was forced to make a move probably earlier than she would have preferred.  Game On Dude also had the unfortunate luck of being placed at the 14th post position, making Sutherland’s task all the more difficult, despite the supportive presence of trainer Bob Baffert.

Baffert suffered a heart attack on Monday in Dubai, but felt good enough to attend on Saturday. Following his appearance at the track, he was personally greeted by Dubai’s hereditary ruler His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum. He commented that Baffert was very strong to be able to attend the event so quickly.

The evening also included other celebrities, ranging from Hollywood Star Bo Derek to President Ramzan Kadyrov of the Chechen Republic. Despite the star power in attendance, neither Game on Dude nor the more favored So You Think, were able to find the top three spots. So You Think was beaten out for the fourth spot by fellow Irish horse Planteur.


Monterosso, ridden by Corsican jockey Mickaël Barzalona, captured the 10 million dollar prize. Monterosso finished third last year and like his stablemate Capponi -- who finished third -- both horses were part of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed’s Godolphin stables.

Godolphin has won five of the seventeen Dubai World Cup events.

American horses have won seven of the seventeen Dubai World Cups, but none since the event moved to the synthetic Tapeta surface at the Meydan Racecourse.  The event previously was held at the ad-Al Sheba Racetrack dirt track in 2010. The Meydan Racecourse officially opened in 2012, and occupies the former site of the ad-Al Sheba Racetrack.

By Joe Hammond
Contributing Writer for The Daily Sports Herald

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