A surprising — yet not so surprising — mid-pack second-tier favorite, Ushba Tesoro muscled all the competition out of the way in the $12-million Dubai World Cup on Saturday evening at the Emirate’s fabled Meydan race course and took the win. Touts in London and the States had been looking hard at the colt and were, somewhat, factoring him in, including his writer, as a horse that could not be counted out. In the running he proved that and more.
As expected, the Irishman Algiers put in a strong showing, and placed. Going off as the co-favorite alongside the Bob Baffert-trained defending 2022 Dubai World Cup victor, Country Grammer, Algiers fought tooth and nail up the backstretch and around the far turn, but it was Ushba Tesoro under a very thankful Yuga Kawada who got the better trip. Emblem Road showed some mettle to hang on to third.
For his part, Country Grammer did not live up to his billing from the get-go, seeming to have some trouble finding himself, despite Frankie Dettori’s best efforts, in the race. It was as if he didn’t quite know where he was at any given moment, a surprise for such a self-possessed, ordinarily confident runner. As the finish rushed at him, he and Dettori found themselves in a very disappointing seventh.