Japan's Victoire Pisa wins World Cup

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates -- Victoire Pisa pulled an upset in Saturday's $10 million Dubai World Cup after jockey Mirco Demuro made a bold move to challenge for the lead about five furlongs from the finish.

It was the first win for a Japan-based runner in the world's richest race.

Victoire Pisa, a 4-year-old colt bred in Japan, fought off a challenge from another Japanese-runner, Transcend, to win the race over about 1 1/4 miles by about a neck. Transcend finished about a head in front of Monterosso.

Transcend had the early lead, and was joined on the front by Victoire Pisa midway through the race. Those two held off a late challenge from several runners to finish first and second.

Gio Ponti, the best American-based hope, was fourth in early stretch racing near the leaders, but could not sustain the bid in the final furlong, finishing unplaced.

Victoire Pisa, by the Sunday Silence stallion Neo Universe, has won 8 of 13 starts and $12,896,372, earning $6 million from Saturday's race. The colt has run in some of Europe and Asia's top races in the last six months.

Victoire Pisa was third in the 2010 Japanese Derby last May and eighth in the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe in Paris last October. Later in the fall, he was third in the Japan Cup before launching his current winning streak in the $4.12 million Arima Kinen in Japan last December.

In his only start of 2011 before the Dubai World Cup, Victoire Pisa won the $1.49 million Nakayama Kinen on turf on Feb. 27.

"It's unbelievable," DeMuro said on horseback after the race. He dedicated the winner to the people of Japan, just two weeks after the country was struck with a devastating earthquake and tsunami.