Prince Bishop upsets California Chrome in Dubai World Cup
The biggest beneficiary of the Dubai World Cup's (UAE-G1) return to dirt Saturday wasn't the stern American challenge launched by California Chrome and Lea. Instead, it was the Saeed bin Suroor-trained Prince Bishop, unplaced in his past three attempts on the World Cup on Meydan's old Tapeta, who rolled from the rear of the field to down 4-5 favorite California Chrome in track-record time. Lea was third.
Sporting the silks of Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed al Maktoum, Prince Bishop was a 17-1 outsider in the wake of two narrow losses in the local preps. The eight-year-old son of Dubawi was a fast-finishing second to track record-setter Frankyfourfingers in the Maktoum Challenge Round 2 (UAE-G2), and runner-up again to 2014 World Cup champion African Story in the Maktoum Challenge Round 3 (UAE-G1).
In both, Prince Bishop had to be driven on from far back by jockey William Buick, and he stuck to the pattern once again in the $10 million prize. California Chrome appeared poised to kick on strongly after stalking the pace on the outside. But once rallying into contention turning for home, Prince Bishop surged past the U.S. Horse of the Year and drew off by 2 3/4 lengths. He negotiated about 1 1/4 miles in 2:03.24, a record on the Meydan track, and paid $36 to his backers in the North American market.
California Chrome, who raced wide throughout, held second by 1 1/4 lengths from compatriot Lea. There was a gap of 5 1/4 lengths back to American expatriate Candy Boy, who was fourth in his Dubai debut for new connections -- owner Ramzan Kadyrov and trainer Doug Watson. Japan's champion dirt horse Hokko Tarumae tired to fifth after setting the pace, followed by defending champion African Story, the winner's stablemate; Long River; Side Glance; and Epiphaneia, who struggled in his first dirt attempt.
Prince Bishop was scoring his biggest career victory. He had taken both Rounds 2 and 3 of the Maktoum Challenge last year before disappointing in the World Cup.