Ushba Tesoro capped a memorable night for Japan by finishing strongest in the 27th Dubai World Cup (2000m) at Meydan on Saturday.
The six-year-old son of Orfevre scored by a widening two-and-three-quarter lengths from local hope Algiers and Saudi Arabian-trained Emblem Road in third.
Ushba Tesoro is trained by Noboru Takagi for Ryotokuji Kenji Holdings and was ridden by Yuga Kawada.
It was a race where the picture changed markedly in the final two furlongs. As the field turned into the home stretch, Algiers was travelling with ease and as he assumed the lead with a furlong and a half to race.
However, about five lengths further back, jockey Yuga Kawada was unfurling a lethal burst from Ushba Tesoro who he had settled at the rear of the field before making his move out wide with 3 furlongs to race. The winner had actually trailed the field in rear by 15 lengths in the very early stages of the race.
Winning trainer Takagi said the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe, still the one race Japan has yet to conquer and the one it covets most, will come under consideration later in the year, all going well.
The draw for the Dubai World Cup had placed three of the main fancies – Country Grammer, Algiers and Panthalassa – out wide and the latter could never dominate the way he did when landing the Saudi Cup a month ago. He tired to finish well beaten in 10th. Last year’s hero Country Grammer was always a bit laboured and ran seventh.
Despite the dominance by Japan in the world’s biggest races in recent years, it was their only success in the $12 million feature since Victoire Pisa broke through in 2011. It was also their first on dirt, with Victoire Pisa’s success coming on the synthetic Tapeta surface.