18 March 2021

Counting Down To 25 - Victoire Pisa Wins The Sixteenth Running Of The Dubai World Cup In 2011

The Dubai World Cup meeting celebrates its historic 25th anniversary on March 27, with six Group 1 races and three Group 2s, including one of the world's premier races, the $12 million Dubai World Cup, sponsored by Emirates Airline.

Over the next few weeks, we will pay tribute to each of the previous Dubai World Cup winners. Today, we rewind to 2011 when Victoire Pisa won the Dubai World Cup for Japanese trainer Katsuhiko Sumii.

To describe the 2011 Dubai World Cup, one only needs to delve into a dictionary of footballing clichés and emerge with a “game of two halves”. It is a fitting description of a race that changed complexion completely from the first half to the second, a lightning move by Italian jockey Mirco Demuro, that eventually led him to lifting world racing’s richest prize.

Victoire Pisa, Japan’s top class three-year-old from the previous year was back last, as his compatriot Transcend took the field through the first 1,000m in a pedestrian 1:06.42. Demuro, realizing he had no chance to win off such a slow pace, so took the only option he could, he allowed Victoire Pisa to make a move around the entire field and passing the half way mark he took the horse to the front. It was a decisive move that won him the race. The second half of the race was run in 59.52 seconds, nearly three seconds faster than the first 1,000m. It was indicative of the pace throughout that the first six horses passing the 1,000m filled the first six finishing positions with Victoire Pisa holding Transcend to give Japan a famous 1-2 result.

Monterosso, who had won the Dubai City of Gold over 2,400m on the turf on Super Saturday, was third with Cape Blanco, Gio Ponti and Gitano Hernando behind him. The dual Eclipse-winner Twice Over, favoured here after his brilliant success in the third round of the Al Maktoum Challenge never truly got into the race from his wide barrier while champion Japanese mare Buena Vista was also a victim of the slow early speed.

The 2011 Dubai World Cup had a pre-race rating of 119 making it among the strongest of any other renewal and with such a high standard of field, it was no surprise to see those in the race go on to further Group 1 glory throughout the year with Cape Blanco, Gio Ponti, Twice Over, Gitano Hernando and Buena Vista all going on to win Group 1 races internationally.

Victoire Pisa went chasing further glory in Hong Kong in the QE II Cup however an injury sidelined him from that and he was to only have two more starts, finishing unplaced in both the Japan Cup and Arima Kinen at the end of the year prior to retiring. Victoire Pisa finished his career with eight wins from fifteen starts.