Frankie Dettori rode African Story to a four-length victory in the Burj Nahaar for Godolphin to steal some thunder from Mike de Kock's Musir, who ended up third.
Another success story for Godolphin now takes aim at World Cup
DUBAI // Godolphin's African Story overcame Mike de Kock's mighty Musir to win the Burj Nahaar by four lengths at Meydan Racecourse Saturday night.
The Saeed bin Suroor-trained gelding, who was ridden by Frankie Dettori, is now heading for the Godolphin Mile on World Cup night on March 31.
Musir, the strong favourite going into the 1,600-metre Group 3 contest, won the UAE Derby in 2010 and had already claimed two victories at the Dubai track this season.
But African Story stole the march on Musir, whose finish lacked his usually rapid turn of foot, to claim the US$200,000 prize (Dh734,620). De Kock's runner came home third behind the runner-up Snaafy.
De Kock said Musir may not have been 100 per cent fit.
"I had to give him a bit of a break so he wouldn't have been at his peak," said De Kock.
While there were a few surprised faces trackside, bin Suroor said he had been expecting a big run from his contender.
"He is a very tough horse and he always tried very hard," said bin Suroor, who is the most successful trainer in the history of the Dubai World Cup Carnival.
"He finished second in his last run and we thought he would keep getting better."
Bin Suroor said that African Story enjoyed running on Meydan's Tapeta track.
"I just spoke to Frankie and he said that the horse went very well on the surface and was always travelling very well," said the Emirati handler. "He has shown that he is a class horse."
Bin Suroor also plans to saddle the Group 2-winning Delegator in the $1 million Godolphin Mile at the end of the month.