Opinion Poll wins marred Dubai Gold Cup

March 31, 2012 at 3:17 PM
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DUBAI, United Arab Emirates, March 31 (UPI) -- Three horses broke down in two attempts Saturday to run the $1 million Dubai Gold Cup, eventually won by Godolphin runner Opinion Poll.

The race originally was scheduled as the third on the nine-race card but was red-flagged when another Godolphin runner, Fox Hunt, fell badly during the first run through the stretch. With Fox Hunt immobile and the field still to run past that point a second time, the race was called off.

Later, the event was rescheduled after the Dubai World Cup. All runners save Fox Hunt started the 2-mile run a second time, even though most of the field already had run a mile or more in the first attempt.

In the restart, first Grand Vent, another Godolphin runner, was stopped with an injury midway down the backstretch. A few hundred meters later, Bronze Cannon was pulled up nearing the final turn.

The Dubai Racing Club did not officially comment on any of the injuries. However, it appeared Fox Hunt and Bronze Cannon were fatally injured and euthanized on the track. Grand Vent was loaded into a horse ambulance with what appeared to be a stabilizing cast on a leg.

DRC officials said all horses were checked by veterinary personnel before the restart and all the owners and trainers agreed to run again.

Opinion Poll, 6-year-old son of Halling, eventually won the Gold Cup by 3/4 length. After taking the lead at mid-stretch, Opinion Poll, with Frankie Dettori up, held on to beat Joshua Tree. Zansamar finished third. The race was timed in 3:23.7 over the Meydan grass.

Opinion Poll was a stalwart last summer in England's top races for stayers, winning the Group 2 Lonsdale Cup at York during the Ebor meeting, then finishing second in the Doncaster Cup and British Champions Long-Distance Cup.

He now has nine wins from 24 lifetime starts.

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