Sport Horse Racing

Thursday 21 September 2017

Spencer buoyed by Blanco's World draw

Thomas Kelly

AIDAN O'BRIEN'S Cape Blanco was handed a favourable draw in stall four for the Dubai World Cup in Meydan on Saturday.

The richest race in the world has attracted 14 entries from across the globe and jockey Jamie Spencer was pleased with the draw for the 2010 Irish Champion Stakes winner.

"I'd have been happy for anything between two and nine -- we got four so that means all the options are open," Spencer said.

Henry Cecil's Twice Over was hit with an unfavourable draw for the second year in a row.

The six-year-old only managed to finish 10th from stall 11 last year, and fared even worse with his gate position this time, in stall 12 of the 14 runners.

He did, however, overcome stall 13 when impressively landing round three of the Al Maktoum Challenge over course and distance earlier this month.

American challenger Gio Ponti, fourth 12 months ago and second to Goldikova at the Breeders' Cup, will race from five.

Elsewhere, last year's Epsom Derby and Arc winner Workforce could be set to make his seasonal reappearance on this side of the Irish Sea in the Tattersalls Gold Cup at the Curragh on May 22.

The contest, ridden over one mile and two-and-a-half furlongs and won by Fame And Glory last year, is the most likely starting point, according to Khalid Abdullah's racing manager Teddy Grimthorpe.

"The Gold Cup is looking like the place we will start Workforce," Grimthorpe said.

"We'll have to see how the horse is and how he's working but the plan would be to go to Ireland, rather than Epsom for the Coronation Cup."

Irish Independent

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