'Proud' Yuga Kawada and Ushba Tesoro win second Dubai World Cup for Japan

Lord North lights up Frankie Dettori’s swansong in Dubai

Jockey Yuga Kawada celebrates winning the Dubai World Cup on Ushba Tesoro after the trophy presentation by Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed, Crown Prince of Dubai, at Meydan Racecourse on March 25, 2023. Chris Whiteoak / The National
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Yuga Kawada and Ushba Tesoro were the heroes on a thrilling night of racing as they claimed the $12 million Dubai World Cup for Japan at Meydan.

It is only the second time Japan has won the race after Victoire Pisa became the first to take home the trophy in 2011.

For a while, it looked like James Doyle and Algiers were heading to victory but Ushba Tesoro powered from the middle of the pack to win by two and three quarter lengths with Emblem Road in third.

Algiers finished a creditable second, with two more Japanese runners T O Keynes and Crown Pride in fourth and fifth. Country Grammer and Frankie Dettori could finish only seventh.

“I’m very proud of my horse and myself for winning the greatest race in the world," the winning jockey Kawada said.

Dubai World Cup night - in pictures

“It is an honour to be here. He won and I am so happy. I am so proud of him.

“This is a new surface for him but he was happy and doing well since his arrival in Dubai. You never know what to expect in a race of this level but he did the job for us tonight.”

A couple of races earlier, Lord North paid a fitting tribute to Dettori's last Dubai World Cup night before retirement by carrying him to victory in the $5million Group 1 Dubai Turf.

The horse and jockey were winning the race for the third successive year, sharing the prize last year with Panthalassa, winner of the $20million Saudi Cup last month.

Dettori produced Lord North with a well-timed late run to collar William Buick and Nations Pride, and then held off the fast finishing Japanese raider Danon Beluga under Joao Moreira.

“The horse was real good. We had a very good draw this year in gate three. He jumped good. I was able to put him in a position he likes to be, and he did the job,” Dettori said of the seven-year-old Dubawi gelding.

Christophe Lemaire rode two more winners for Japan. The Frenchman on Derma Sotogake led the first four home for Japan in the UAE Derby and capped the meeting by claiming the second most valuable prize, riding Equinox to an impressive win in the $6million Dubai Sheema Classic.

Hidetaka Otonashi, trainer of Derma Sotogake said he didn’t expect the horse to lead the race but Lemaire was able to hold a nice spot.

“I’m a bit surprised but extremely happy with the win,” he said. “It’s my first time here and Derma Sotogake is my first ever runner. I just left everything up to Lemaire.”

Equinox, also under Lemaire emerged an impressive winner of the $6million Dubai Sheema Classic.

The Frenchman hardly moved a muscle as the Tetsuya Kimura-trained Kitasan Black colt came clear of Ryan Moore and Westover.

Ryan Moore was another jockey to claim a double. He brought home Aidan O’Brien’s Broome to win the $1million Group 2 Dubai Gold Cup and rode Sibelius to a thrilling victory over Tadhg O’Shea and Switzerland in the $2million Group 1 Dubai Golden Shaheen.

Updated: March 26, 2023, 4:20 PM