Gloria De Campeao: the South American-bred star is trained in FrancePICTURE: Dubai Racing Club/Andrew Watkins
International flavour to Carnival curtain raiser
LAST year's Singapore Airlines International Cup hero Gloria De Campeao got his 2010 campaign off to a promising start by winning the Group 3 Al Maktoum Challenge on the opening night of the Dubai International Racing Carnival.
This year's carnival is the first at newly-opened Meydan racecourse, with races run on the synthetic Tapeta surface.
Gloria De Campeao is a fitting winner for a racing festival that prides itself on attracting international competition, as he was bred in Brazil by Haras Santarem and was saddled by French trainer Pascal Bary.
Another global dimension is added by the seven-year-old's sire, Argentinean-bred Impression.
Impression, a son of Rubiano, won the Grade 2 Clasico Coronel Pringles at Palermo in his native country, and finished third in the Grade 1 Palermo Gran Premio Estrellas Sprint.
Gloria De Campeao, who finished second to Well Armed in last year's Dubai World Cup, is out of the 13-year-old mare Audacity, out of Brazilian-bred sire Clackson.
He is owned by Stefan Friborg, whose colours were carried to Classic victory by Natagora in the 2008 1,000 Guineas.
A cosmopilitan set of horses won races on the undercard at Meydan. Raihana (by Elusive Quality/bred in Australia), Lizard's Desire (Lizard Island/South Africa), Drunken Sailor (Tendulkar/Ireland), Sir Gerry (Carson City/US) and Whispering Gallery (Daylami/Britain) all scored.
Irish-breds made it a double when the Jeremy Noseda-trained Leahurst, a son of Verglas, won the last race on the card, the Daaher Sponsored By Shadwell Farm.