Gloria de Campeao became the first winner of the world’s richest horse race at its new home in Meydan in a thrilling photo finish.
The Brazilian bred horse seemed to be dominating the field after taking an early lead, but had to fight off a late surge from the unheralded Lizard’s Desire to take the $10 million purse by a nose.
Stefan Friborg, owner, Estrela Energia Stables, said that it was always the plan that Gloria de Campeao would take the lead and set the pace.
He said: “The plan was to go to the front, and he is very tough. He enjoys a fight and he never gives up.”
Pascal Bary, trainer, added that it was the horse’s big heart and courage that got him over the line in his battle with the South African bred Lizard’s Desire.
Ridden by Tiago Pereira, Gloria de Campeao covered the 2,000 meters in 2:03.83, while Lizard’s Desire finished a short head in front of Godolphin’s third placed Allybar.
Pereira said: “I thought I had won, but as we passed the post, I looked across and the second jockey was celebrating so I thought I’d keep quiet and wait for the result. Gloria de Campeao was so brave and this is all just a dream.”
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