South Africa enjoyed a one-two in the Godolphin Mile as Variety Club led home Soft Falling Rain at Meydan in the opening thoroughbred contest of Dubai World Cup night.
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The South African horse of the year had disappointed on his second start in Dubai and also had a wide draw to contend with but Anton Marcus was able to cut across to the inside and control the race from the front.
Last year's winner, Soft Falling Rain, was tracking him throughout but was unable to close the gap in the straight and was ultimately hardpressed to hold on for second from the fast finishing Flotilla.
The winning trainer, Joey Ramsden, said: "For any local South African horse to come all this way just to compete, let alone win, is just incredible.
"Anton did the most magical job. He was quite lucky in getting a soft lead and that's obviously what's helped him along the way. Things didn't go great for him last time out, but it went very smoothly this time.
"He'll probably go for the Hong Kong Mile in a few weeks then across to Europe and maybe something in America later," he added.
Marcus said: "This just means so much. To put a big one on the board for Marcus (Jooste, owner) is huge. He overcame his draw pretty economically and won the race pretty effortlessly."
Soft Falling Rain was eventually beaten a length and trainer Mike de Kock said: "That is a huge result for South Africa. I did suspect my horse might just come on for the run and there's no doubt he was running on empty in the last 100 yards.
"He's going to improve a fair way on that and we'll take him to Hong Kong for the Champions Mile."
"He'll probably go for the Hong Kong Mile in a few weeks then across to Europe and maybe something in America later," said trainer Joey Ramsden.
French raider Flotilla was noticeably unlucky in finishing a nose away in third.
Jockey Christophe Lemaire said: "The pace wasn't as strong as we thought it would be and I had to come a bit wider than I would have liked. It was a huge effort from the filly and we're very happy with her."
Flotilla's trainer Mikel Delzangles said: "She has been away a long time and we need to take her home. I will speak to the owners, she may get retired or could go for the Champions Mile."