Baffert 'Was Hoping For Inside Draw,' But Country Grammer Will Leave From Post 14 In Dubai World Cup Title Defense - Horse Racing News | Paulick Report

Baffert ‘Was Hoping For Inside Draw,’ But Country Grammer Will Leave From Post 14 In Dubai World Cup Title Defense

Country Grammer works with Antonio Fresu onboard

The cards fell wildly for the favored horses at the barrier draw for the 27th Dubai World Cup sponsored by Emirates.

There were audible gasps early in the ceremony as defending champion Country Grammer drew gate 14 of 15, leaving Frankie Dettori with a tactical headache on what will be his final start in the race.

Saudi Cup hero Panthalassa will break from the widest stall of all in 15, with the added intrigue that Yoshito Yahagi's representative is a confirmed frontrunner.

And the drama didn't end there, as Algiers, winner of the first two rounds of the Al Maktoum Challenge, drew stall 13.

A trio of fancied Japanese-trained runners are housed inside, with Jun Light Bolt in stall three, Vela Azul in five, and Ushba Tesoro in eight.

Connections reactions to the draw

Algiers, drawn 13
Owner Hamdan Sultan Ali Alsabouli said: “It was very special to be the youngest owner in the Dubai World Cup and it is great to be back again. It is a battle between some great horses and I hope we can win it. Gate 13 is fine but I was hoping to get five or six.”
Co-trainer Simon Crisford added: “He has drawn wide in both prep runs and so it's no real concern.”

Bendoog, drawn 7
Mohammed Khaleel Ahmed, owner of Bendoog, said: “Of course it's a dream come true and I think number seven is a pretty good number. It's a fantastic race and every horse deserves their place so it should be a good race and may the best horse win.

Cafe Pharoah, drawn 10
Adam Harrigan, representing trainer Noriyuki Hori, said: “The horse was in Saudi Arabia and travelled over well, so we are all set. I'll let connections speak with Joao (Moreira), figure out what's drawn around us and we will come up with a plan.”

Country Grammer, drawn 14
Trainer Bob Baffert said: “I was hoping for inside draw. Frankie knows him well.”

Crown Pride, drawn 12
Masafumi Matsuda, assistant trainer to Koichi Shintani, said: “We're not upset at all. After the race we will be hopeful that stall number 12 will be the lucky one for us. We will go over the tactics with the jockey, but Crown Pride absolutely loves Dubai so we hope it will be lucky for us.”

Emblem Road, drawn 2
Saad Abdulwahed, assistant trainer to Ahmad Abdulwahed, said: “I was hoping for number seven, but my lucky number for today is this number.”

Geoglyph, drawn 9
Trainer Tetsuya Kimura said: “It's my lucky number so I'm happy with that.”

Jun Light Bolt, drawn 3
Yasuo Tomomichi, trainer of Jun Light Bolt, commented: “He has been training very well in Dubai. We will not run like we did in Saudi, he wants to come off a fast pace.”

Panthalassa, drawn in stall 15
Trainer Yoshito Yahagi said: “Even if he misses the jump, he still has to go forward, so it's really no concern. We have only one tactic with him so it doesn't change. He won the Dubai Turf last year so we know he loves it here, all is good.”

Remorse, drawn in stall 1
Bhupat Seemar, trainer of Remorse, said: “It's the shortest way round so it's fine. We had the pick of stall one or six but either was good.”

Salute The Soldier, drawn 4
Trainer Fawzi Nass said: “I might look happy but I'll be happier once the race is over! He is well named, he is an absolute soldier. If we've got any tactics from this gate, I won't be telling you!”

Super Corinto, stall 11
Amador Sanchez, trainer said: “Not the best. But it's ok.”

T O Keynes, drawn 6
Trainer Daisuke Takayanagi said: “We wanted this number so we are thrilled. It makes it easier for us to come up with a race plan and to devise tactics. This year, he is mentally stronger so I think he will run well.”

Ushba Tesoro, drawn 8
Trainer Noburu Takagi said: “Number eight gives us a lot of option.”

Vela Azul, drawn 5
Trainer Kunihiko Watanabe said: “I wanted the inner so I'm happy, it's perfect. He travelled over well and he is in good shape.”

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