World Cup Barrier Draw – Japanese Star Set For Title Defence

See the gates for all five Grade 1 races

Defending champion Ushba Tesoro has drawn stall five in Saturday’s $12,000,000 Gr1 Dubai World Cup Sponsored by Emirates Airline.

The Noboru Takagi-trained Japanese star faces a captivating rematch at Meydan with American challenger Senor Buscador, with a head having separated the pair in last month’s Saudi Cup.

The stage following the draw ceremony for Saturday’s Gr1 Dubai World Cup sponsored by Emirates Airline (Pic – Dubai Racing Club/Liesl King)

Ushba Tesoro’s name was the first to be picked out in the ceremony at the Armani Dubai Hotel on Wednesday evening, with the position assigned at random.

Jockey Yuga Kawada said: “Stall five is not so bad but he’s a horse that has to come from behind so really one to 12 makes no difference.”

Takagi added: “He’s going to come from the back anyway so it doesn’t really matter.”

Todd Fincher’s Senor Buscador, the pride of his breeder and co-owner Joe Peacock Jr, was the second name selected and will break from stall 10.

“Very happy,” Peacock Jr said. “We wanted outside and we got outside.”

Kabirkhan, the sensation from Kazakhstan who is trained in the UAE by Doug Watson, drew two.

“I kind of wanted the middle,” Watson said. “If he always broke really well I’d be delighted but he hasn’t done that. We’ve been working on it, but we hope he can do it on the night. At least it’s a shorter way around.”

Owner Tlek Mukanbetkaliyev added: “Happy to get an inside draw and hopefully he can be comfortable near the lead.”

Japan has brought a strong representation for the 2000m showdown with ace jockey Christophe Lemaire back aboard Derma Sotogake (stall eight), a dazzling winner of the UAE Derby at this meeting last year and subsequently the runner-up in the Breeders’ Cup Classic.

Trainer Hidetaka Otonashi said: “We didn’t mind any stall really. Eight is considered a lucky number in Japan so that’s pretty good.”

Lemaire described stall eight as “a very good draw in the middle which allows me to go forward into the first bend without burning up too much gas.”

Connections of G1 Saudi Cup winner Senor Buscador, who drew barrier 10 ahead of Saturday’s $12m Dubai World Cup (Pic – Dubai Racing Club/Liesl King)

Frankie Dettori is back aboard Bob Baffert rising star Newgate, a recent winner under the legendary rider in the Grade 1 Santa Anita Handicap. Assistant trainer Jimmy Barnes was on hand as he was assigned stall six.

The other big local hope is Juddmonte’s Laurel River, who is trained by Bhupat Seemar and entered the Dubai World Cup picture after a clear-cut victory in the Burj Nahaar Sponsored By Emirates SkyCargo earlier in the month. He must run from the widest stall of all in 12.

Jockey Tadhg O’Shea said: “Obviously being right on the outside is far from ideal. Saying that he’s a horse with a lot of early speed and we’ll just have to play the cards we’re dealt.”

The line-up is completed by Crupi (1), other Japanese runners Dura Erede (3) and Wilson Tesoro (11),  Defunded (9), Military Law (4) and Clapton (7) .

Trainer Chad Summers said of Clapton: “We were hoping to be drawn in the middle.”

Alex Solis, owners’ representative of Crupi, said: “We’re drawn inside so hopefully we can save all the ground.”

Wilson Tesoro’s jockey, Yusuke Hara, said: The last two starts the jockey asked him to take a position early, so I’m expecting him to be a little bit keen. So that stall is ideal.”

Details of the draw made on Wednesday for all five Group 1 races on the card can be found by clicking here.

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