The numbers could not have come out any worse for the international favourites and local heroes at the post position draw for the Dubai World Cup at Meydan on Wednesday.
Godolphin hope Thunder Snow, trained by Saeed Bin Suroor, fared worst of all drawing the outside lane in post 10.
Heavily favoured West Coast didn’t do much better drawing post 9, while second favourite Forever Unbridled was three spots further in at post 6.
Second Godolphin hope Talismanic was allotted post 7.
But Bob Baffert, trainer of both West Coast and Mubtaahij (who drew post 5) laughed off any disadvantage from the wide berths.
“I’m fine with both,” smiled Baffert.
“Everybody wants the (post) one (drawn by USA runner Awardee), but I do not. I don’t like the one-hole and have never liked the one.
“I’ve heard you have to be on the rail here as it’s a speed biased rail, but I think in a race of this magnitude, when you get all of these good horses together, all that changes.
“We have a fast horse. From the outside, if they break a little slow you’re not going to get in trouble.
“From the inside if you break slow, you’re going to be in trouble.
“I just didn’t want them to draw next to each other. If they’d bump into each other or something else had happened, I’d hate be together.”
Baffert still vividly recalls the horror break suffered last year by Arrogate but the now retired champion still had enough gas to claim the legendary Gun Runner on the straight and win by 2 1/4 lengths.
“To me, the break is so important, as we saw last year (with Arrogate),” continued Baffert. “I don’t want to see that and go through that again.
“I don’t think there’s a really bad post when you’re going a mile-and-a-quarter (2000m). The horse is the more important than the post so I’m fine with it. I’m looking forward to it.”
One spectator who was very happy with his draw was Satish Seemar, trainer of North America who drew Post 2.
The gentle giant loves to run from the front which should be immediately established with the less explosive Awardee on the inside.
“That’s exactly what we wanted – one, two or three,” said Seemar. “I’m very positive.
“We’ve got everything right in his preparation so far, and now we have the perfect draw. He’s still to peak, and he’ll do that on Saturday.”
North America’s jockey Richard Mullen, was similarly delighted: “I’m very happy with the draw.
“When we discussed it this morning, I said to Satish that anything from one to five would be fine but I didn’t want to know if it was higher, so the two stall is ideal.
“He’s a natural front-runner, so I should be able to go forward.”
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