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Triumph and tragedy for Godolphin stable at world's richest meeting

By Alysen Miller, CNN
April 1, 2012 -- Updated 2348 GMT (0748 HKT)
Mikael Barzalona celebrates in trademark style after riding Monterosso to victory in the Dubai World Cup.
Mikael Barzalona celebrates in trademark style after riding Monterosso to victory in the Dubai World Cup.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Monterosso wins world's richest horse race in Dubai
  • French jockey Mikael Barzalona on the Godolphin trained runner
  • Fox Hunt death mars Dubai Gold Cup on same card
  • Incident takes place in front of main stand at Meydan

(CNN) -- It was an emotional night for Dubai's ruler Sheikh Mohammed as Mikael Barzalona rode Monterosso to victory in the Dubai World Cup, the world's richest race, beating his stablemate Capponi by an impressive margin.

But the result was somewhat overshadowed by the death of another Godolphin horse, Fox Hunt, in the inaugural Dubai Gold Cup, held earlier in the evening.

The Mahmood Al Zarooni-trained stayer appeared to break his leg approximately 300 meters into the race, pitching his jockey, Silvestre de Sousa, to the ground in front of a packed Meydan grandstand.

It was immediately clear the injury was serious as veterinarians rushed on to the track to attend the stricken Fox Hunt.

However, when it became clear they would not be able to move him out of the way in time for the second lap of the race, the race was stopped and the remaining jockeys gradually pulled their horses up.

Fox Hunt was euthanized, while De Sousa fortunately escaped uninjured after his high speed fall.

We haven't won this race for a few years so to win it really it's great, great feeling
Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum

The Gold Cup was eventually re-run at the end of the day's card, when it was won by Frankie Dettori on Opinion Poll, but two horses failed to finish.

Barzalona pulled up his mount Grand Vent and Bronze Cannon suffered a similar fate on the hard ground.

There had been more to celebrate in the World Cup itself, Barzalona cementing his reputation for exuberance by rising in his stirrups in celebration well before the finish line, echoing his win in last year's English Derby.

Godolphin's Al Zarooni had saddled both Monterosso and Capponi, and told CNN he felt "incredible" about the result in only his second full season with Godolphin, Sheikh Mohammed's vast racing operation.

Sheikh Mohammed himself, speaking exclusively to CNN after the race, said he felt "doubly happy" with the result, which saw the World Cup return to Godolphin hands after a six-year absence.

"We haven't won this race for a few years so to win it really it's great, great feeling," he said

"Not only for me but for the United Arab Emirates and all our people."

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