American horse California Chrome has convincingly won the $US10 million Dubai Gold Cup in his second tilt at the big race.
The California-bred horse accelerated away after the final turn at Meydan Racecourse in the United Arab Emirates to win the race in a track record of 2 minutes 1.83 seconds for a one-and-a-quarter-mile race on the dirt surface.
The win cements the five-year-old’s place in history, setting a new record for stake-winnings by a North American thoroughbred.
California Chrome’s connections pocket $US6 million for the Dubai Gold Cup win, on the top of the $US6.5 million he had already won during his outstanding racing career.
He had finished second in the race last year.
California Chrome had his regular rider, Victor Espinoza, in the saddle. The horse had a wide draw and spent much of the race three wide, at times even four wide, but was always handily placed.
He had too much power in the home straight and broke clear of the field to collect the win, coasting across the line. Footage of the race shows clearly that his saddle had slipped well back, but that did not put him, nor Espinoza, off their work.
Mubtaahij finished second, and Hoppertunity, a California-based horse, was third.
California Chrome was in the news in 2014 when he won the first two legs of the Triple Crown – the Kentucky Derby and Preakness. However, he was unable to win the third leg, the Belmont Stakes, which was won by Tonalist. Chrome finished in a tie for fourth.
Calfornia Chrome, the offspring of a $US2500 service by Lucky Pulpit to an $US8,000 mare, is a racing celebrity in his own right, with 17,500 followers on Twitter.
He will leave Dubai for the US on March 31.