Front-running Gloria excels to claim world's richest race

Never in the field of equine conflict has so much hinged on so little. With the distribution of $10 million at stake three noses passed the post in almost perfect unison here last night – and it was barely by their nostrils that the camera favoured Gloria De Campeao over Lizard's Desire and Allybar.

These horses might almost have been nominated in the architect's plans for Meydan so harmoniously did their origins conform with the intentions of the man behind both the Dubai World Cup and its staggering new venue.

The winner, trained in France by Pascal Bary, was bred, owned and ridden by Brazilians and has also been to Chicago and Singapore since last racing on home soil. The second had come from South Africa while the third was upholding local honour through Mahmoud al-Zarooni and Ahmed Ajtebi, newly appointed as second trainer and jockey to Sheikh Mohammed's Godolphin stable.

It was not just the prize money that was unprecedented. Seldom can any jockey have betrayed his emotions as vividly as Kevin Shea, whose late surge on Lizard's Desire prompted a congratulatory gesture from Ajtebi. Shea instantly began whooping and punching the air only to discover that Tiago Pereira had remained lurking behind Ajtebi's mount on the rail. When the verdict was called, Shea swiped the air in fury.

It was due reward for an expert front-running ride from a jockey who owes his international experience to the fidelity of this horse's connections. By slowing them down in front, Pereira ensured that Twice Over ran too free, first getting himself into traffic and then stuck out wide,

Al-Zarooni won the Godolphin Mile with his first official runner in his own

right, Calming Influence, and William Buick provided sensational vindication for John Gosden's decision to fast-track him as stable jockey by winning the Sheema Classic on Dar Re Mi – only his fourth ride for his new boss.

Buick, 21, coolly manoeuvred across from a wide draw before the first bend and timed his challenge in the straight to hold Japanese filly Buena Vista by three-quarters of a length. "He rode her beautifully," Gosden said. "He got a nice position from the gate, and sat chilly at the head of the lane – it's a long straight here and you don't want to be in too much of a hurry."

Gosden played his own part, bringing this filly into withering heat after an awkward British winter. "This is right up there with winning the Breeders' Cup Classic at Santa Anita, or the Derby," he admitted. "We'll look at all the smart races, the Coronation Cups and King Georges."

After Calming Influence's win Ajtebi and al-Zarooni returned to an enthusiastic reception from their compatriots. Simon Crisford, the Godolphin manager, said: "To have Mahmoud winning with his first runner is huge. Sheikh Mohammed has put his trust in him and to start with a winner at Meydan is very special."

But Godolphin's most feasible Kentucky Derby prospect, Mendip, lost his unbeaten record to Musir in the UAE Derby. The winner was produced from last place by Christophe Soumillon – and rather too casually for the liking of Willie Supple who was forced to snatch up and made his displeasure known afterwards.

So it looks as though the Kentucky Derby is one ambition that must remain beyond Sheikh Mohammed for another year. But anyone who can build a place like this in 24 months, and be rewarded with commensurate drama is not going to worry if winning one horserace happens to take a little longer.

Domestic action: Penitent has bookmakers feeling sorry

After a Cheltenham Festival that most decidedly swung the way of the bookmakers, first blood of the new Flat turf season went to punters as Penitent landed a monster gamble to take the William Hill Lincoln at Doncaster yesterday. And the William Haggas-trained four-year-old, who was 8-1 a week ago and started 3-1 favourite, won as a perceived "good thing" should. Always going well, he eased past Prime Exhibit (12-1) going to the final furlong and stretched clear to score by two- and-a-half lengths.

"The race worked out perfectly," said jockey Johnny Murtagh. "He's very straightforward, he's improving and he enjoyed the easy ground." Fifteen minutes later, the Cheveley Park Stud colourbearer's Newmarket stablemate and galloping companion South Easter took a Listed contest at Kempton.

It was a good day, too, for the Yorkshire-based trainer Richard Fahey, for whom Prime Exhibit's bold show was preceded by victories for Irish Heartbeat, another well-backed favourite, and the two-year-old Chiswick Bey, and followed by Red Jade. Stable jockey Paul Hanagan rode all three winners and made it a four-timer on Inxile for Dandy Nicholls.

Sue Montgomery

Suggested Topics
Jeremy Paxman has admitted he is a 'one-nation Tory' and complained that Newsnight is made by idealistic '13-year-olds' who foolishly think they can 'change the world'.
peopleThe idea has been greeted enthusiastically by the party's MPs
Michael Buerk in the I'm A Celebrity jungle 2014
Arts and Entertainment
Avatar grossed $2.8bn at the box office after its release in 2009
filmJames Cameron is excited
File: David Cameron offers a toast during a State Dinner in his honour March 14, 2012
voicesAnd nobody from Ukip said babies born to migrants should be classed as migrants, says Nigel Farage
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Stik on the crane as he completed the mural
Happy in his hat: Pharrell Williams
Arts and Entertainment
Stella Gibson is getting closer to catching her killer
tvReview: It's gripping edge-of-the-seat drama, so a curveball can be forgiven at such a late stage
Brazilian football legend Pele pictured in 2011
peopleFans had feared the worst when it was announced the Brazil legand was in a 'special care' unit
i100(More than you think)
Brendan Rodgers seems more stressed than ever before as Liverpool manager
FOOTBALLI like Rodgers as a manager but Liverpool seem to be going backwards not forwards this season
The number of GP practices with 10 or more doctors has grown by 75 per cent
Phyllis Dorothy James on stage during a reading of her book 'Death Comes to Pemberley' last year
peopleJohn Walsh pays tribute to PD James, who died today
Benjamin Stambouli celebrates his goal for Tottenham last night
Life and Style
Dishing it out: the head chef in ‘Ratatouille’
food + drinkShould UK restaurants follow suit?
peopleExclusive: Maryum and Hana Ali share their stories of the family man behind the boxing gloves
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Ashdown Group: Senior PHP Developer - OOP, Javascript, HTML, CSS, SQL

£39000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Senior PHP Developer - OOP, Javascript, HTML,...

Austen Lloyd: Commercial / Residential Property - Surrey


Recruitment Genius: Graduate Programme - Online Location Services Business

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: What do you want to do with your career? Do yo...

Recruitment Genius: Senior QC Scientist

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This company is a leading expert in immunoassa...

Day In a Page

Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: ‘We give them hope. They come to us when no one else can help’

Christmas Appeal

Meet the charity giving homeless veterans hope – and who they turn to when no one else can help
Should doctors and patients learn to plan humane, happier endings rather than trying to prolong life?

Is it always right to try to prolong life?

Most of us would prefer to die in our own beds, with our families beside us. But, as a GP, Margaret McCartney sees too many end their days in a medicalised battle
Thomas Cook's outgoing boss Harriet Green got by on four hours sleep a night - is that what it takes for women to get to the top?

What does it take for women to get to the top?

Thomas Cook's outgoing boss Harriet Green got by on four hours sleep a night and told women they had to do more if they wanted to get on
Christmas jumper craze: Inside the UK factory behind this year's multicultural must-have

Knitting pretty: British Christmas Jumpers

Simmy Richman visits Jack Masters, the company behind this year's multicultural must-have
French chefs have launched a campaign to end violence in kitchens - should British restaurants follow suit?

French chefs campaign against bullying

A group of top chefs signed a manifesto against violence in kitchens following the sacking of a chef at a Paris restaurant for scalding his kitchen assistant with a white-hot spoon
Radio 4 to broadcast 10-hour War and Peace on New Year's Day as Controller warns of cuts

Just what you need on a New Year hangover...

Radio 4 to broadcast 10-hour adaptation of War and Peace on first day of 2015
Cuba set to stage its first US musical in 50 years

Cuba to stage first US musical in 50 years

Claire Allfree finds out if the new production of Rent will hit the right note in Havana
Christmas 2014: 10 best educational toys

Learn and play: 10 best educational toys

Of course you want them to have fun, but even better if they can learn at the same time
Paul Scholes column: I like Brendan Rodgers as a manager but Liverpool seem to be going backwards not forwards this season

Paul Scholes column

I like Brendan Rodgers as a manager but Liverpool seem to be going backwards not forwards this season
Lewis Moody column: Stuart Lancaster has made all the right calls – now England must deliver

Lewis Moody: Lancaster has made all the right calls – now England must deliver

So what must the red-rose do differently? They have to take the points on offer 
Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

It's in all our interests to look after servicemen and women who fall on hard times, say party leaders
Millionaire Sol Campbell wades into wealthy backlash against Labour's mansion tax

Sol Campbell cries foul at Labour's mansion tax

The former England defender joins Myleene Klass, Griff Rhys Jones and Melvyn Bragg in criticising proposals
Nicolas Sarkozy returns: The ex-President is preparing to fight for the leadership of France's main opposition party – but will he win big enough?

Sarkozy returns

The ex-President is preparing to fight for the leadership of France's main opposition party – but will he win big enough?
Is the criticism of Ed Miliband a coded form of anti-Semitism?

Is the criticism of Miliband anti-Semitic?

Attacks on the Labour leader have coalesced around a sense that he is different, weird, a man apart. But is the criticism more sinister?
Ouija boards are the must-have gift this Christmas, fuelled by a schlock horror film

Ouija boards are the must-have festive gift

Simon Usborne explores the appeal - and mysteries - of a century-old parlour game