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Kawada Takes Ushba Tesoro To Dubai World Cup Win For Japan

Kawada Takes Ushba Tesoro To Dubai World Cup Win For Japan

Ushba Tesoro, ridden by Japanese jockey Yuga Kawada, produced a stunning finish to secure his first win outside his home country with a stunning performance in the $12 million Dubai World Cup on Saturday.

Japan, which was represented by 27 horses on a card of nine races, secured three victories.

Apart from Ushba Tesoro, Equinox, Japan’s Horse of the Year, won the $6 million Dubai Sheema Classic with a dazzling run and Derma Sotogake secured the UAE Derby.

The tone of the representative race completely changed as the field turned into the home stretch.

The Simon Crisford-trained Algerian was in the lead and looked good for another Dubai World Cup win for the trainer, who has tasted plenty of success with Godolphin as their racing manager.

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However, Kawada seemed to suddenly turbo-charge Utsuba Tesoro as he tore through the field from sixth to the front in the blink of an eye.

Starting the race at the back, it was a great finish. The UAE horse Algeria was second and Emblem Road was third.

Country Grammer, the pre-race favorite and 2022 champion, finished seventh, while Panthalassa, winner of last month’s Saudi Cup, was 10th.

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“He was jumping pretty well. I just tried to focus on keeping the horse’s rhythm and just keeping him out of the middle of the pack,” Kawada said.

“There were eight Japanese horses in the field, and apart from me, the only Japanese jockey on a Japanese horse was Yutaka Yoshida on Pantalasa.

“Today was my first time on the horse, but it was a huge honor to ride him because there was a lot of pressure as the leading Japanese jockey went into the race.”

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Equinox, who also traveled outside his country for the first time as Ushba Tesoro, was another star of the night.

Although the son of Kitasan Black was never challenged from start to finish, he still managed to set the pace and took almost a second off the course record with his 2min 25.65sec demolition.

Jockey Christophe Lemaire said: “I rode the best horse, I wasn’t afraid to set the pace.

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“Race after race, he’s moving up the rankings of the horses I’ve ridden. It was a great, great performance against top-level horses like this. I couldn’t be happier.”

Lord North became the first horse to win three consecutive renewals of the Group 1 Dubai Turf, raced over 1,800m and bid his jockey Frankie Dettori a triumphant farewell to the Dubai World Cup.

The Italian, who has ridden Godolphin for Dubai ruler Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum for several years, is retiring from driving at the end of the season.

It was Dettori’s 23rd win at the Dubai World Championship.

“It’s amazing to win once; three times, it’s unreal. Lord North… what a star. Just to get one on the board in my last race in this beautiful place, in Dubai which has been my home for so many winters, is pretty special.”

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