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Star Melbourne jockey Damian Lane has added Dubai World Cup night to the list of feature meetings he has won at after claiming the UAE Derby in the early hours of Sunday morning, Australian time.

Lane teamed with the Koichi Shintani-trained Crown Pride to win the US$1 million event.

The result strengthens Lane’s connection with Japan having enjoyed great success during stints in Japan pre-Covid and leveraged that success to win the Cox Plate aboard Lys Graciuex and Caulfield Cup on Mer De Glace in 2019.

Lane, who has also enjoyed success in Hong Kong, was thrilled to be able to renew his association with Japanese gallopers.

“Whenever you jump aboard (a Japanese-trained horse) you can be confident they’re going to be strong and they’re going to run well and it’s just a privilege to be a part of it,” he said.

Lane and Crown Pride travelled in a prominent position in the 1900-metre UAE Derby, surged to the front 150m from home and powered away two win by more than two lengths.

“He stepped out okay but didn’t travel too well thereafter and it just took a little bit to get him in a rhythm and get him going,” Lane said.

“I got crowded a little early but he was able to stride through and take up position and it was plain sailing from there really.

“I was confident a long way out and although he made hard work of it in the straight, ultimately he was the toughest out there. He’s a strong, tough horse and saw the distance out well.”

The UAE Derby was a qualifier for the Kentucky Derby and connections of Crown Pride post-race expressed an interest in progressing to that event on May 7.

Lane also rode in the Group 1 Sheema Classic (2400m), finishing fifth aboard Uberleben.

The Dubai World Cup was won by the Bob Baffert-trained Country Grammar, who was ridden by Frankie Dettori.

 
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