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Apr 01, 2011

Japanese horses go one-two in Dubai World Cup


Dubai, United Arab Emirates (Sports Network) - A pair of Japanese-bred and owned horses swept the first two spots in Saturday's $10 million Dubai World Cup at Meydan Racecourse. The 1 1/4-mile World Cup is the richest race in the world and was conducted for the 16th time.

Victoire Pisa, ridden by Mirco Demuro, outfought pacesetter Transcend to win the World Cup over Meydan's synthetic main track. The winner was sent off as a 17-1 longshot in the 14 horse field.

Twice Over, the 4-1 morning-line favorite, was the 9-5 post-time favorite with Gio Ponti second at 4-1 and Japan Cup winner Buena Vista the 7-1 third choice. Transcend was the third-longest priced horse at 40-1.

Breaking first from the gate was Cape Blanco. Transcend and jockey Shinji Fujita moved to the lead shortly after the start and set the pace around the clubhouse turn and up the backstretch.

Traveling on the outside was Victoire Pisa, who drew alongside Transcend entering the far turn. Those two horses dueled on the lead around the final turn.

Victoire Pisa and Transcend fought each other to the wire as Gio Ponti was making a rally down the center of the track. Also putting on a rally down the stretch was 50-1 longshot Monterosso.

Victoire Pisa prevailed over Transcend by a neck as Monterosso finished strong for third and Cape Blanco held on for fourth.

Rounding out the order of finish was Gio Ponti, Gitano Hernando, Musir, Buena Vista, Twice Over, Prince Bishop, Golden Sword, Richard's Kid, Fly Down and Poet's Voice.

The time for the 16th Dubai World Cup was 2:05.94.

"It's unbelievable, it's unbelievable," exclaimed the winning jockey. "I love Japan.

"My horse usually has a good start, but this time he hit his head in the stall and we had a bad start. But maybe it was lucky because there was a slow pace on the backstretch, so I could find a good position close to the leader. It was a really tight finish. We always believe in him. He's won his last race very easy giving two kilos away. He's a very nice horse. We were hoping to do well, but to win is amazing."

Trained by Sumii Katsuhiko, Victoire Pisa earned $6 million for owner Yoshimi Ichikawa. The four-year-old colt now has a bankroll of $12,891,734 with eight wins in 13 career starts.

Victoire Pisa began 2011 by winning the $1.49 million Nakayama Kinen on turf February 27 in Japan. He was third in last year's Japanese Derby and eighth in October's Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe in Paris.

Following a third-place result in the Japan Cup in November, the colt won Japan's $4.12 million Arima Kinen to end 2010.

While there is no betting in Dubai, Victoire Pisa paid $36.60 and $11.40, Transcend returned $22.00 and Monterosso paid $27.00 in the United States.

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