Japanese thoroughbred Ushba Tesoro produced a blistering finish Saturday to win the Dubai World Cup, outracing fancied Irish horse Algiers down the final stretch.
The ride capped a successful day for Japanese horses at the Meydan racecourse, with Equinox dominating the Dubai Sheema Classic and Derma Sotogake running away with the UAE Derby.
Ushba Tesoro, ridden by Yuga Kawada, gallops en route to winning the Dubai World Cup at Meydan in Dubai on March 25, 2023, becoming the second Japanese horse to win the Grade 1 race. (Kyodo) ==Kyodo
Ridden by jockey Yuga Kawada and trained by Noboru Takagi, dirt track specialist Ushba Tesoro ran from the back of the pack to win his first race outside Japan by 2-3/4 lengths and claim the $6.96 million first prize.
Ushba Tesoro is the second Japanese horse to win the 2,000-meter Grade 1 race, following Victoire Pisa in 2011.
With Christophe Lemaire aboard, last year’s Japanese horse of the year, Equinox, led from wire to wire in the 2,410-meter Dubai Sheema Classic. The winning time of 2 minutes, 25.65 seconds, was the fastest ever recorded over the distance on turf at Meydan.
The result follows Equinox’s Tenno-sho and Arima Kinen victories and has led some international racing media to hail the thoroughbred as the best in the world.
Lemaire was also the winning jockey in the G2 UAE Derby, steering Derma Sotogake across the line in a 1-2-3-4 finish for Japanese horses in the 1,900-meter race.
Jockey Yuga Kawada (far L) poses for a photo after riding Ushba Tesoro to victory in the Dubai World Cup at Meydan in Dubai on March 25, 2023, making it the second Japanese horse to win the Grade 1 race. (Kyodo) ==Kyodo