Trainer David Ferraris was shocked yet overjoyed as Vengeance Of Rain created history by becoming the first horse trained in Hong Kong to win at the Dubai World Cup after taking the 5million Sheema Classic.
A highly-competitive field had seen much of the pre-race attention focus on British contenders Sir Percy and Red Rocks, together with Japanese ace Pop Rock.
However, the seven-year-old Vengeance Of Rain timed his run to perfection to land the 12-furlong contest by a length and a quarter from Oracle West, with the Mick Channon-trained Youmzain taking third spot, just ahead of Sir Percy, who had every chance.
“I’m over the moon,” Ferraris said. “Words can’t describe how big this is.
“He’s nailed big names in the past in Hong Kong but not outside of the region. I would say Europe isn’t out of the question either now, I’d certainly like to try it.
“He travelled well. He’s a wonderful horse to train, he has no vices, has good solid legs and does it all for you.”
Martin Dwyer was satisfied after Sir Percy seemed to have put recent niggling injury problems behind him with a strong run down the home straight that just petered out before the finishing post.
“I was really pleased with the effort he showed,” Dwyer said of the Marcus Tregoning-trained Vodafone Derby winner.
“He tried hard throughout and made a big move in the straight, but unfortunately just tired a little bit towards the end. But the good thing is he’s back.”
An emotional Hiroyoshi Matsuda struggled to keep his emotions in check as the trainer secured success in the Dubai Duty Free courtesy of Admire Moon.
Jockey Yutaka Take hit the front with four-year-old colt with two furlongs to go and looked to have a commanding lead, only for Linngari to almost chase him down and snatch victory on the line.
However, Admire Moon held on to claim the 5million race by a half a length, with fellow Japanese horse Daiwa Major coming home nearly five lengths back in third.
“I am very happy, so very happy,” Matsuda said.
“I only realised what was happening when the horse won. It’s been my dream to win in Dubai so thanks to everyone in Dubai.
“He is one of the best horses in the world. I hope to take him to Europe now, but he’s going to Hong Kong first.”
Asiatic Boy cruised to an impressive nine-and-a-half-length victory in the UAE Derby.
The Mike De Kock-trained four-year-old blitzed a competitive field in the back straight of the nine-furlong race on the dirt to score from Jack Junior – who ran a huge race for Brian Meehan – and pocket a cool 1.2million.
“It was awesome but I’d have been happy to win by a length,” winning rider Weichong Marwing said.
Richard Hills said of the runner-up: “For a horse that is still a maiden, mine has run a great race. He is a horse with a future but the winner today was a very good horse.”
Frankie Dettori claimed what proved to be his only win of the night when the Eddie Kenneally-trained Kelly’s Landing edged the 2million Dubai Golden Shaheen by half a length from Friendly Island.
“I hadn’t sat on him before but I was very excited about riding him,” Dettori said.
“The trainer said if you can get him to the rail you’ve got a chance and he did. It’s my first win in the Shaheen but I got great help from the trainer.”
Kenneally added: “It was a good job. He won with a little in hand, I know Frankie was very impressed.
“It’s the biggest win of my career and I’d like to get him back next year as he’s a very lightly-raced six-year-old.”
The night’s opening race, the Godolphin Mile, saw Garrett Gomez take the spoils on Spring At Last.
The four-year-old overcame Parole Board and Mullins Bay in the final furlong of the 1million contest to win by just under three lengths.
“We were really confident as he’d been running with some very good horses, but he was just a better horse on the night,” Gomez said.