Horse racing-Monterosso pulled out from Dubai World Cup

Jockeys race towards the finish line during the first race "Dubai Kahayla Classic" of the Dubai World Cup at the Meydan Racecourse in Dubai March 30, 2013. (Reuters)

Monterosso, the mount of Mickael Barzalona, will not defend his Dubai World Cup title on Saturday after his owner pulled him out of the world’s richest race.

“We decided to pull him out,” Dubai Crown Prince Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed al-Maktoum told Reuters at the Meydan racecourse.

“He was not in a good shape. Had he run he would finish last,” said Sheikh Hamdan, son of Dubai’s ruler and United Arab Emirates Prime Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum, who founded the Godolphin stable in 1992.

Monterosso’s win in 2012 ended a five-year drought for home blue silks of Godolphin and was the fifth success in the race since the event was inaugurated in 1996.

Godolphin will now bet on Hunter’s Light and African Story, trained by Saeed bin Suroor, to take on top U.S. thoroughbreds-- double Breeders’ Cup Ladies Classic winner Royal Delta and2011 Kentucky Derby winner Animal Kingdom -- in the $10 million race.

“American horses are good but we hope to give them a good fight,” Sheikh Hamdan said.

Last Update: Saturday, 30 March 2013 KSA 18:49 - GMT 15:49