Runner-up in the Ascot Gold Cup last summer to Fame And Glory, Opinion Poll secured a Gold Cup of his own when taking the Group 3 US$1,000,000 Dubai Gold Cup, sponsored by Al Tayer Motors, at Meydan Saturday night under jockey Frankie Dettori. (Image: DRC/Watkins)
Owned by Godolphin, Opinion Poll became a millionaire with the victory, his ninth wins from 24 starts, including back to back victories in the Group 2 Londsdale Cup at York.
“It’s been a great night for the team and I’m pleased it’s gone so well for us,” said Dettori. “I was very happy to win this race and it all went according to plan. I think we’ll target the Ascot Gold Cup in June.”
Contested at 3,200m on the Meydan turf course, the race was initially underway at 5:45pm. However, after an incident at the top of the stretch involving Fox Hunt, the race was declared void and rescheduled to be run again after the Dubai World Cup race.
In the initial try, the stewards had instructed the riders to pull up after it was apparent that there was insufficient time to clear the course of the fallen horse. Fox Hunt’s jockey Silvestre De Sousa was shaken, but otherwise unhurt. De Souza was driven off of the track and resumed riding the remainder of his mounts.
The rescheduled Dubai Gold Cup horses left the gate at 10:25 pm, some 4 1/2 hours after the first attempt.
Makani Bisty made the early running as jockey Glyn Schofield worked hard to keep his mount, Mikhail Glinka, relaxed in second. The field galloped two by two down the front straight.
Opinion Poll made his move around the far turn and won decisively. Joshua Tree briefly appeared a threat but was no match for the winner.
The Dubai Gold Cup was originally billed as the “DRC Gold Cup” in 2009, upgraded to a Group 3 in 2010, and moved to the Dubai World Cup card for the first time this year.
Post Race Quotes for the Group 3 US$1 million Dubai Gold Cup, sponsored by Al Tayer Motors
Frankie Dettori (Opinion Poll, 1st) – “It’s been a great night for the team and I’m pleased it’s gone so well for us. I was very happy to win this race and it all went according to plan. I think we’ll target the Ascot Gold Cup in June.”
John Murtagh (Joshua Tree, 2nd) – “I got a bit held up at the turn. It cost me a bit of ground, but Frankie (Dettori) gave his horse a great ride and got first run on us and we could only get close to him at the finish.”
Richard Hills (Zanzama, 3rd) – “He ran a cracking race. We weren’t sure if he would stay, but he did and there will be more races for him at this sort of distance.”
Patrick Cosgrove (Averroes, 4th) – “I got a nice lead into the straight and I actually thought I had a chance. He tried his heart out.”
Christophe Lemaire (Kasbah Bliss, 5th) – “He raced just behind the winner and he accelerated well at the bend, but he couldn’t give more the last 150 metres.”
Kevin Shea (Irish Flame, 6th) – “He ran to the best of his ability. If I had the horse underneath me, I could have gone on, but I didn’t.”
Ryan Moore (Barbican, 7th) – “He did not like the ground. He ran OK.”
Corey Nakatani (Unusual Suspect , 8th) – “I was doing really good until that horse got hurt in front of me. When he saw daylight, he made an early move. Unfortunately, these things are going to happen. He couldn’t sustain that type of run going [3,210m].”
Glyn Schofield (Mikhai Glinka, 9th) – “He travelled more keenly this time around and was obviously a bit wound up. He was a spent horse around the final bend.”
Futoshi Komaki (Makani Bisty, 10th) – “When the pace was up, he couldn’t follow. He was tired and stopped running as soon as he passed the finish line.”
Mickael Barzalona (Grand Vent, DNF) – “I pulled him up down the back.”