Japanese raider Ushba Tesoro wins Dubai World Cup

Japan, now arguably the dominant jurisdiction in the world of racing, reigned supreme at the mega-valuable Dubai World Cup meeting at Meydan, with longshot Ushba Tesoro springing a surprise in the $12m main event, coming late and fast to post an authoritative success. Here our Dubai World Cup Recap

Dubai World Cup

G1, $12,000,000, 1m 2f dirt, 4yo+

Tesoro shocks the world

The switch to dirt has been the making of Ushba Tesoro, and he produced the performance of his life to win the Dubai World Cup at Meydan on Saturday, coming with a late rush to swallow up Algiers and Emblem Road and spring a 13-1 upset, giving a dominant Japan a third major win of the day and its first Dubai World Cup since 2011.

The race was characterised by a fierce gallop, which led to something of a pace meltdown in the closing stages. Ushba Tesoro was a long way last through the early stages as Panthalassa and Remorse set sizzling fractions, but jockey Yuga Kawada stayed ice-cold in the desert heat and steadily moved through the field on the six-year-old.

Dubai World Cup Race Video


Japan trained Ushba Tesoro came from the clouds to catch Algiers to win the 2023 Dubai World Cup #Horseracing #Horseracingtips #Horsesoftiktok #Sports #FYP #Horse #Horses

♬ original sound – horseracingtote – horseracingtote

As the pace-setters dropped away the British-trained Algiers moved easily to the lead and looked set to carry his advantage to the line, but he was treading water in the final furlong and Ushba Tesoro surged past him to win going away by two and three-quarter lengths, with Algiers having just enough left in the tank to turn back the late rally of Emblem Road to secure second place by a short head. T O Keynes (fourth) and Crown Pride (fifth) underlined the strength of the Japanese contingent.

“It’s an amazing feeling to have won a race like this,” said trainer Noboru Takagi.

The US-trained Country Grammer, favourite to record back-to-back wins following last year’s memorable World Cup success, probably raced too close to the scorching pace in the early stages and flattened out from the turn, eventually finishing seventh. The Saudi Cup winner Panthalassa dropped away after his trailblazing exertions, coming home tenth, while the US-trained outsider Super Corinto was 14th of the 15 runners.

“I’m so very happy to win the Dubai World Cup for Japan,” said a delighted Kawada. “I’m so proud of my horse.”

Ushba Tesoro, a son of Japanese champion Orfevre, had spent four campaigns on turf before being switched to dirt 11 months ago. He is now nine-for-29 lifetime but six-for-seven on dirt, with this victory his second at G1 level following the Tokyo Daishoten last December.

Given his affinity for a dirt surface, Ushba Tesoro is an obvious candidate to travel to the US for the G1 Breeders’ Cup Classic at Santa Anita on November 4, when he will no doubt be joined by other Japanese horses as they seek to follow up on their breakthrough successes at Del Mar in 2021.

Dubai World Cup Payouts

1. Ushba Tesoro28.309.30 
2. Algiers 3.40 
3. Emblem Road 16.80 

Winning time: 2m 03.25s

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