25 March 2002

Surprise winner claims the world’s richest race while Sakhee comes in third

Under the floodlights of Nad Al Sheba racecourse in the Arabian desert on Saturday night, Street Cry miraculously became the winner of the richest race in the world, the £4.5m Dubai World Cup.

Momentarily, Dubai’s racing-mad Maktoum family who own the local world-famous Godolphin stable, were left wondering what had beset their world champion Sakhee [pictured] as he finished a crestfallen third, 12 and three-quarter lengths behind his stable companion.

But they were soon rejoicing in the glorious victory of their second string Street Cry, who, it must be said, had been considered anything but a forlorn hope.

Frankie Dettori, who eased Sakhee down through the final furlong, summed up the setback when he said: “You have not seen the real Sakhee tonight. He is a much better horse on turf.”

Sakhee was passed by the Saudi Arabian-trained Sei Mi. Crimson Quest, also from Saudi Arabia, was fourth but the strongly fancied Japanese hope Agnes Digital was never a factor in sixth.

Sakhee has basked in his moments of glory, in last year’s Prix de l’Arcde Triomphe, and even in heroic defeat by Tiznow in the Breeders’ Cup Classic. His day will come again, perhaps in the Prince of Wales’s Stakes at Royal Ascot.

  • On a star-spangled night of four Group One races and a total of $15.25m in prize-money, the most heart-warming moment for the British contingent was the victory of the Marcus Tregoning-trained Nayef in the Dubai Sheema Classic.