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The Campeao indeed!

There was plenty of praise and exaultation for the champion, Gloria De Campeao, the Brazilian-bred son of Argentine-sire Impression, a winner by the slimmest of discernable margins in the $10 million Dubai World Cup (G1).  The winner of the Maktoum Challenge – R1 (G3), and a tough second parallel Red Desire in the Maktoum Challenge – R3 (G2), Gloria De Campeao landed the world’s richest race in his typical fashion – all the way.  2010 was the third go-round for the Dubai stalwart, eighth behind Curlin in 2008, second well beaten by Well Armed, and now the grand champion.


Photo courtesy: Emirates Racing Association

Photo courtesy: Emirates Racing Association

Gloria De Campeao went right to the front and never stopped, while Mike De Kock’s game gelding Lizard’s Desire flew home outside, getting nipped on the line, and then rocketing past.  While trainer Pascal Bary and jockey Tiago Pereira scored monster wins, perhaps the biggest winner of all was the Dubai International Racing Carnival.  You have to be in it to win it, and coming to Dubai and spending the winter under the floodlights of Meydan seems the best way to get it done.  The first three finishers, separated by only a long neck, all were Carnival winners. 



“It is great, I love it.” Those were the words of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum to me after the race when I asked him about the first three home having spent the winter running at his masterpiece racecourse.  Before the race, here were our thoughts on the trifecta finishers:


#1 ALLYBAR has been the beneficiary of two great Ahmed Ajtebi rides and the victim of a third trip that wasn’t so fortunate.  Ajtebi stayed on the rail and was closing like a shot before some incredibly tight quarters forced him to check several times, opening the door for Red Desire to come over the top.

#5 GLORIA DE CAMPEAO has been a stalwart for the last three Carnivals and almost pulled off another round of the Maktoum Challenge when second behind Red Desire.  He is just as game as they come and was a well-beaten second in this race last year.  The son of Impression is once again the likely pacesetter, a tactic that propelled him on opening night of the Carnival.  He is, by default, the benefactor of others finding trouble.  Had Presvis not been so hampered in Singapore last year, Gloria De Campeao would have been second.  If Forgotten Voice hadn’t found stretch trouble in the first round of this year’s Maktoum Challenge – second again.  So – in the end, he’s game and always around, and is capable of winning, maybe even holding a pace advantage over this bunch.  Still, he has to get many things to go his way and it all just makes him very difficult to pick on top.

Mike De Kock has never trained a Dubai World Cup winner and #7  LIZARD’S DESIRE stands a grand chance.  Lump him into Allybar’s category when considering the Maktoum Challenge performance, confirming, however, that he can run a big race against top company.  DeKock has gotten the most out of the son of Lizard Island, who is running the best races of his life.  Expect him mid-division and in a good position to launch a bid. 

Lizard’s Desire and Allybar ran crackers again, giving their connections no real reason to be ashamed.  The front 10 horses finished withing 2.75 lengths of the winner, and the front five were separated by 1.25 lengths.  Mike De Kock really wasn’t sure if had gotten the win, but gave himself a chance to get excited by the prospects in the seconds after the race. 

If you want the thrill of a $10 million photo, you have to be here to Dubai.   

Coming up later, we will provide a full recap of the winners, losers, and all other details related to the 2010 Dubai World Cup.  Watch the race below.


Chants of “Viva Brasil” rained down on jockey Tiago Pereira and owner Stefen Friborg of the Estrela Energia Stable.  The win pushes Gloria De Campeao’s career earnings in excess of $8.8 million, a career that included a win over Presvis in the Singapore International Airlines Cup (G1), and those strong placings in the Dubai World Cup.

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