THREE runners crossed the line simultaneously in the $5 million Group 1 Dubai Turf. Panthalassa had made all the running but Lord North, the defending champion, bullied his way through the crowded stretch, while Vin De Garde, last year’s second, was absolutely flying on the stands’ side.
Vin De Garde’s name was first to show in third, before a dead-heat was eventually declared, the second time such an outcome has occurred in the Dubai Turf. The first was back in 2004 between Right Approach and Paolini.
Frankie Dettori’s mount Lord North was an easy winner of the race in 2021, but this year he had to work hard to get his nose in the photo. The year-younger Panthalassa, under Yutaka Yoshida, continued the fine run of success on the night for the Japanese contingent.
Yoshito Yahagi, the trainer of Panthalassa, said: “He’s always been a really good starter so we weren’t too worried about the draw. We’ve had a lot of good luck today so we didn’t think we’d lose! I’ve never known a wait like that in a photo finish.”
He added: “As the Japanese racehorse level has increased over the years I’ve been really proud to showcase it on the global stage. Taking him over to Europe is high on the to-do list. We’d like to head to Royal Ascot for the Prince of Wales’s Stakes.”
Frankie Dettori said: “He had half the year off. He almost died last year, so to get him back to performing at this level is a great credit to the team.
“What an amazing achievement by everyone and this horse; he’s just a fighter. Very few horses can do what he’s done and come back to win the Dubai Turf for the second time.”
John Gosden trains Lord North with his son Thady. He told reporters: “That’s a very fair result as we got ourselves in a bit of a Japanese sandwich there and those horses [Japanese runners] are so tough. They’ve been buying horses for the last 30 years or so and their investment is paying dividends. They’ve come here and knocked us for six; they’ve gone and won four races now.”
Thady Gosden added: “Frankie timed it beautifully which was a big relief. The Prince Of Wales’s will be his target, but we need to see how he comes out of this race.”