03/26/2014 12:30PM

Dubai World Cup draw unkind to Ron the Greek

Barbara D. Livingston
Ron the Greek will have to overcome post 16 in the $10 million Dubai World Cup.

Two of the better-known entrants in a Dubai World Cup lacking big names drew bookend post positions when the five Group 1 races on Saturday’s Dubai World Cup card were drawn Wednesday.

American export Ron the Greek landed the outside post in a 16-horse field, while Prince Bishop, the leading money earner at this year’s Dubai World Cup Carnival, breaks from post 1.

Animal Kingdom won the 2013 World Cup from post 12, but there is no way to sugarcoat the compromising position for Ron the Greek, who was purchased by King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz and sons last fall in great part to run in this race. Tasked with working out a trip will be jockey Jose Lezcano, who will be aboard the Florida-bred 7-year-old for the 16th time Saturday night.

[Dubai World Cup: Get PPs, watch Saturday's card live]

Prince Bishop, who has hit peak form at age 7, won Rounds 2 and 3 of the Al Maktoum Challenge at Meydan in his two most recent starts, but his rail draw is not ideal, either. Rail-drawn horses fared well earlier this winter in races over Meydan’s Tapeta main tack but have won just 1 of the last 21 main-track races at the Carnival.

The two Hong Kong horses got favorable World Cup draws, with Akeed Mofeed in post 4 and Military Attack in 8. No Hong Kong-based horse has ever won the World Cup, but anything could happen in this wide-open edition of the $10 million race, and both Hong Kong runners are capable.

Ruler of The World, the 2013 Epsom Derby winner and the favorite in overseas World Cup betting, drew post 12, while Red Cadeaux, second to Animal Kingdom last year, breaks from post 14.

Cirrus des Aigles, the ageless 8-year-old French gelding, won the 2012 Sheema Classic but drew poorly for the race this year, landing the outside post in a 15-horse field. Other major players in a strong renewal of the $5 million, 1 1/2-mile turf race include Gentildonna (post 12) and Breeders’ Cup Turf winner Magician (post 4). Twilight Eclipse, one of only two American runners on Saturday’s card, has post 11.

The $5 million Duty Free over about 1 1/8 miles on turf might be the race of the night, with a star-studded international cast of 13 assembled. The race includes Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Turf winner Dank (post 10) as well as Breeders’ Cup Turf runner-up The Fugue (post 4), but those two have no discernible edge on horses like the strong Japanese trio of Just A Way (post 2), Tokei Halo (post 5), and Logotype (post 12).

In the 13-horse Golden Shaheen at six furlongs on Tapeta, defending champion Reynaldothewizard drew post 5, but this is the most contentious race on the card. The Al Quoz Sprint might have the shortest-priced favorite of the night in Shea Shea, whose draw of post 12 for the straight-course turf sprint is ideal.

Post time for the first of eight Thoroughbred races Saturday is 9:10 a.m. Eastern. The World Cup is scheduled for 2:05 p.m. Midweek rain in Dubai is forecast to give way to cool, clear weather, with Saturday’s high expected to be just 80 degrees.

◗ Sheikh Joaan al Thani’s Al Shaqab Racing has purchased a 50 percent share in Ruler of The World. The colt will start in Sheikh Joaan’s colors when he runs Saturday in the World Cup, but Aidan O’Brien is to remain his trainer and Joseph O’Brien his jockey.

◗ The Dubai Racing Club announced Wednesday that the purses for the Sheema Classic and the Dubai Duty Free will be boosted from $5 million to $6 million in 2014.

sjm80s . More than 1 year ago
Ron the Greek is going to break from Post 16 and wonder where the hell he is! Poor boy. Run safely pal. Regardless of being in over his head, it was a long, frightening trip for him and I wish him a safe journey at the track and home.
sjm80s . More than 1 year ago
There are some monster odds on some very potential horses. Open your wallets on Race 8.
Brandon Layer More than 1 year ago
I'm glad not many American horses are going. I'd rather they stay home and race in our races. I'm glad Will Take Charge, Game On Dude and Mucho Macho Man all stayed home and raced in the Santa Anita Handicap against each other.
Marc Rogala More than 1 year ago
sjm80s . More than 1 year ago
Not because he is a bad horse. This is not an easy race and running from that far out is a severe handicap.
Brandon Layer More than 1 year ago
Wasn't the World Cup designed to draw the best American horses (10f on DIRT). Not quite getting the Cigars or Silver Charms since the surface change. What a horrible idea that was. The 2 turf races are better. Led by the Sheema Classic.
Pagani Zonda More than 1 year ago
So they are going to keep the worlds richest race on dirt for pretty much one country who races on the surface? The dirt surface was only to get North America interested, then once the meet made a name for itself they looked to catering to their Euro, and Australasian friends.
Matthew Hood More than 1 year ago
Cater to Euro's by running on synthetic? Umm wouldn't grass do the trick?
sjm80s . More than 1 year ago
Where exacty is Australasia?
Mark Dawson More than 1 year ago
Field Sizes at Meydan generally average between 12 and 15, so I woud not say the rail being 1 for 'the last 21' is a significant trend. That post could hardly be expected to win more than 1 or 2 mathematically, could it? I wouldn't let the draw stop you if you like Prince Bishop. Personally. I am taking stab on Hokko Turamae from Japan, and the improving South African Sanshaawes.
prlyr4lyf More than 1 year ago
Ron the Greek would need the run the race of his life to threaten here
Brandon Layer More than 1 year ago
If he runs like he did in the JCGC he'll win for fun. He won't run like he did in the JCGC though.
B More than 1 year ago
This will not be at all a popular statement, but I truly could care less about this race this year.
sjm80s . More than 1 year ago
Most exciting races are almost all but 9.
William Eisele More than 1 year ago
good luck to my friend nicholas bachalard in the world cup with RON THE GREEK
long_shot_alert More than 1 year ago
Giovanni Boldini may actually be a Kentucky Derby threat.
AzHorsePlayer More than 1 year ago
Not sure about a derby horse but after he crushes this field he will definitely be in the starting gate for it:)
Pagani Zonda More than 1 year ago
This is a quality horse. I hope he is in the gate. That would make up the other half of exactor box with the poly horse We miss artie. I will get huge odds (Dr.Evil finger to mouth)