Lord North, a horse with one of the most stately names in the sport, made racing history on Saturday when he won the $5 million Dubai Turf (G1) for the third year in succession and with all his wins coming under Frankie Dettori’s exquisite handling.
Twelve months ago, the son of Dubawi powered home to dead-heat with Japanese raider Panthalassa, but this time did not leave anything to the judge when crossing the finish rather comfortably, three-quarters of a length clear of Danon Beluga, who was representing the Land of the Rising Sun.
Trained by John and Thady Gosden, Lord North looked every inch the star that he set out to be when posting an imperious three-length victory in 2021.
“It’s amazing,” said Dettori, who was riding at the Dubai World Cup meeting for the final time before he retires from the sport at the end of the year.
“It’s my farewell season and to win this on a horse that has done three years in a row is fantastic. He can get sick easily and he’s a seven-year-old gelding, but I was that confident I lost my whip 300 (yards) out,” he added.
“I think his comeback run was better than last year and he was in better shape. Full credit to the boys that got him ready for this race and full credit to everyone. I rode him the other morning, he didn’t give me much of a feel but that’s him.
“He had a good draw in three and jumped well. I could have sat second but took him back and then filled him up in the straight,” said Dettori, his English twang more Americanised now that he has made the country his new home.
“Nine furlongs is his best distance. It’s a remarkable job for the team to come back and win this for the third time.
“I’m super chuffed, and really enjoying the night,” he said.
As it has done so many times in the past, the Dubai Turf served up another epic contest that culminated in a cavalry charge between 11 of the race’s 14 runners.
Having missed the break earlier in the day aboard American hope Worcester in the UAE Derby, the Italian superstar opted to ride his veteran on the outside of the field.
But once the runners flattened for the run to the judge, among them Emirati Safeyah Aldhanhani, Lord North sprouted wind and blitzed home to deny Danon Beluga, with Godolphin’s Nations Pride, who looked to have every chance approaching the two-furlong mark, staying for third.
“I came in with some decent rides and to just get one on the board at this beautiful place that has been my home for so many winters, really is special,” Dettori said.
HOW THEY FINISHED
1.Lord North (John & Thady Gosden) Frankie Dettori
2.Danon Beluga (N Hori) Joao Moreira
3.Nations Pride (C Appleby) William Buick