African Story ready for Dubai World Cup

African Story ready for Dubai World Cup

Charlie Appleby’s Vancouverite was pretty fortunate to come away with gate number three having been the 15th horse of 16 to be drawn overall.

By Alex Leach

Published: Thu 27 Mar 2014, 10:06 AM

Last updated: Fri 3 Apr 2015, 11:26 PM

Rain hampers workout sessions at Meydan Race Course on Wednesday.KT photo by Rahul Gajjar

Two Godolphin runners emerged with relatively favourable stall placements following the Post Position Draw for the Dubai World Cup here at Meydan on Wednesday. Charlie Appleby’s Vancouverite was pretty fortunate to come away with gate number three having been the 15th horse of 16 to be drawn overall, whereas the fourth-out African Story is three further out in slot six.

“I was delighted to draw stall three for Vancouverite,” said Appleby. “He’s got natural speed and will be sitting handy, so the draw is no problem at all.” African Story’s trainer Saeed bin Suroor commented: “It’s simple for him. He can be there sitting handy in the race and use his speed at the end.”

Jockey Silvestre De Sousa, who will climb aboard African Story on Saturday night, added: “Anything between four and eight would have been okay. You have more choice for position.” Akeed Mofeed (Four) and Sanshaawes (Five) are sandwiched in between Vancouverite and African Story, with another homegrown hope Prince Bishop (One) and Japanese raider Belshazzar (Two) on the inside of Vancouverite.

Belshazzar’s trainer Kunihide Matsuda confidently predicted stall two represented a “victory draw” from the horse’s “best position” and Richard Gibson, the trainer of Akeed Mofeed, was just as pleased with fourth spot.

“I’m thrilled with barrier four,” he stated. “Statistically, it’s the best draw in the race, so we cannot be disappointed with that.” The other Godolphin contender, Cat O Mountain, faces an uphill struggle from post 15, but the four-year-old gelding is — at least — in good company out wide as Mukhadram (13), last year’s runner-up Red Cadeaux (14) and Ron the Greek (16) also received dire draws.

“There’s not much we can do about it. The others don’t have to worry now — we’ve drawn it,” conceded Ron The Greek’s trainer Nicholas Bachalard. “Jose Lezcano has his work cut out. It’s a long way around (from the outside).”

Hillstar (Seven), Side Glance (Nine) and Hokko Tarumae (11) were among the last six to appear from underneath model Emirates Airline A380 aeroplanes and they are equally spread out in the middle sector among Military Attack (Eight) and Surfer (10). “I’m very pleased. It’s exactly where I wanted to be,” said Military Attack’s trainer John Moore.

“He’s tactically versatile, so being drawn in the middle gives us options and we can watch the race form around us. We’re looking forward to the challenge.”

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