French runner Gloria De Campeao won the world's richest race, the $10 million Dubai World Cup at Meydan racecourse on Saturday on what was his third attempt in a drama-filled event.
The Pascal Bary-trained Brazilian-bred six year old - second last year and eighth in 2008 - beat home Lizard's Desire, trained by Dubai-based South African Mike de Kock, in a photo finish.
Godolphin's Allybar was third in the 15th running of the race but first at the new racecourse.
"To win a race like that with a horse like this is great. He's a horse that never gives up and always tries," said Bary.
"The other horse finished so fast that I didn't know if we had won. This horse is a different horse when he comes here and feels the sun on his back."
The winner's Swedish owner Stefan Friborg was stunned.
"It was fantastic, (jockey) Tiago Pereira rode a great race. Gloria De Campeao is a tough horse, who never knows when he is beaten and this reflected those qualities."
Gloria De Campeao, who was sent off at 16/1 having finished second to another of the runners Japanese filly Red Desire in his prep race, made virtually all the running under Pereira - who had also ridden him to victory in last year's Singapore Airlines International Cup race.
Several of the field started to gain on him coming down the finishing straight including the hotly fancied English runner Twice Over, trained by legend Henry Cecil.
However, the English Champion Stakes winner was unable to sustain his challenge and beat the retreat leaving it to outsider Lizard's Desire, who had only two handicap wins to his credit this season and been dumped by Belgian jockey Christophe Soumillon.
Kevin Shea mustered a rousing finishing burst, persuading even Ahmed Ajtebi on Allybar to congratulate him.
However, after a careful review of the photo-finish it was Gloria De Campeao, whose number was read out as the winner.
That left de Kock and Shea with a large cheque as consolation for the runners-up spot and newly-appointed Godolphin second string trainer Mahmoud al Zarouni was left delighted with his third placing with Allybar.
Favourite Gitano Hernando ridden by crack Irish jockey Kieren Fallon never managed to pick up and was unable to land a blow, though, he did finish quite strongly.
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