Mystic Guide rules supreme in G1 Dubai World Cup Sponsored By Emirates Airline
Mystic Guide confirmed his status as one of the world’s top dirt horses as he powered to victory in the G1 Dubai World Cup Sponsored By Emirates Airline, the highlight of Dubai World Cup Night at Meydan, UAE, on Saturday, 27 March.
The four-year-old colt brought a progressive profile into the US$12-million 10-furlong showpiece, having won four of his seven starts in the USA for Michael Stidham and headed out to Dubai on the back of a comprehensive win in Oaklawn Park’s G3 Razorback Handicap.
After breaking well, Mystic Guide took up a perfect stalking position under Luis Saez, settling in third behind Hypothetical and Capezzano.
The Godolphin homebred cruised up to second leaving the backstraight and travelled confidently into the race, taking up the running from Hypothetical approaching the final quarter-mile.
Mystic Guide soon opened up daylight over the field and never looked in any danger as he galloped out relentlessly to beat Japanese raider Chuwa Wizard by three and three-quarter lengths.
His winning time of 2m 1.61s was less than a quarter of a second outside the record set by Thunder Snow in the 2018 Dubai World Cup.
Magny Cours (William Buick), who was racing on dirt for the first time on his G1 debut for Andre Fabre, stayed on strongly from mid-division to take third, a further length and a quarter in arrears.
Michael Stidham said: “I am very proud of Mystic Guide and so happy to be here for Godolphin and Sheikh Mohammed on the 25th anniversary of the Dubai World Cup. To have a performance like that was the icing on the cake.
“I really felt like it was finally my turn to step up to the big time and really wanted it to happen. It’s a totally different atmosphere here and horses have to be able to handle it. It’s not easy for an American horse to come over here and do it.
“Mystic Guide’s class and ability came through. I felt really good when he got the position he got, when he was laying third down the back. I had a good feeling – I didn’t know for sure – and then down the lane, it was amazing. Luis just said: ‘what a horse, what a tremendous horse with so much talent!’.
“We always felt that Mystic Guide was one step behind where he needed to be to campaign in the Kentucky Derby, Preakness and Belmont. We gave him time and let him develop. Jimmy Bell and Dan Pride were always 100 per cent behind me, which makes my job easier, and we did it.
“I think the sky is the limit for him. We don’t have any race picked out for him now but there will be many opportunities in New York, Saratoga and, hopefully the Breeders’ Cup at the end of the year. If he is doing well, we would love to come back here next year. I’ll know the lay of the land a little better next time!”
Luis Saez said: “That was our plan – to break, get a position and be relaxed waiting for the top of the straight. I knew that he was going to give me that kick and he did it, he is the Champion.
“He is a young horse but I knew that he was a real G1 winner when I rode him last time. He is the Champion and I know that he is going to get better and better.”
Andre Fabre said: “I was delighted with Magny Cours. He was given the perfect ride by William. He travelled well, didn’t mind too much kickback and I couldn’t be happier with him.”