'Extraordinary Animal' the toast of Dubai World Cup
Graham Motion praised a “spectacular event” at Meydan last night as Animal Kingdom claimed Dubai World Cup glory.
The US-based trainer described the contest, created by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Ras-hid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, as “incredible”.
His charge pulled off an impressive victory to add to his list of incredible achievements, which includes winning the Kentucky Derby in 2011.
When asked to compare that to the Dubai World Cup, Motion said: “That’s a hard thing to do. They’re two spectacular events.
“To be here in this country. Sheikh Mohammed is so welcoming to us, it’s incredible what he puts on here. It’s nothing I’ve ever seen. It’s amazing, we’re very fortunate.”
Animal Kingdom, ridden by Joel Rosario, stunned even his owners with his remarkable two-length victory over a fast-finishing Red Cadeaux in the world’s richest race.
“I think he proved he was worthy of that Kentucky Derby win and what he’s done since,” said Motion. “It was fantastic. He’s just an extraordinary animal.
"He reminded me very much of the Derby with the way he won. It was the same kind of run he made, turning for home he was so full of confidence so full of run, this is probably what he wants to do. This is his trip.”
Animal Kingdom is owned in partnership by Australia’s Arro-wfield Stud and the Team Valor International racing partnership based in the United States.
Barry Irwin, CEO of Team Valor, added: “I thought he could win but I didn’t think he could win like that. He proved that not only is he a top horse, but that he is one of the top horses in the world.
“This horse has never looked this fit before. It was awesome. He’s a very unique horse. He ships to England on Saturday and now it is over to Graham, who has another major challenge in how do you take a horse to England and run him there quite quickly after winning in Dubai.”
Rosario was equally in disbelief about the quality of a horse that is now expected to take his chance at Royal Ascot, with the Prince of Wales’s Stakes the likely target.
“He’s a really good horse, the whole way he was pulling me in a nice spot,” said the jockey. “This [win] was all him, that was awesome. He handled himself very well. Earlier in the race I knew there would not be a lot of pace so I decided to let him go ‘ping’.”
Motion says they will wait before plotting their next move. “I’m not a big believer in getting too far ahead of myself,” he added.
For Sheikh Mohammed’s Godolphin stable there was only disappointment as their dreams of ret-aining the cup were dashed. Last year’s winner Monterosso was withdrawn, while African Story was best placed in fifth.