Sport Horse Racing

Wednesday 22 January 2020

Aidan O’Brien boost as So You Think is handed stall four for Dubai World Cup

Aidan O'Brien's So You Think strengthened his position at the head of the market for the Dubai World Cup at Meydan on Saturday evening after being handed stall four at the draw ceremony for the richest race in the world.

The giant Australian import is now a 5-2 chance (from 3-1) with Paddy Power and 5-2 from 11-4 with BetVictor after faring much better than one of his main market rivals, Game On Dude, who will break from the widest stall of all in 14.

As a result Coral eased the Bob Baffert-trained American raider to 8-1 from 6s.

Japanese challenger Smart Falcon, the second-favourite, is positioned next to So You Think in stall five.

Of Godolphin's four challengers Monterosso fared best in stall eight with Capponi, Prince Bishop and Mendip in 11, 12 and 13 respectively.

Marco Botti`s Planteur will break from stall six while last year's runner-up Transcend will have to overcome stall 10.

"So You Think has the perfect draw, the best form in the book, and will now go to post as a heavy favourite for the world's richest race. Game On Dude, by contrast, will find it very tough to win from stall 14," said Simon Clare, Coral spokesman.

Smart Falcon was also eased to 5-1 from 4-1 by Coral following reports that he had not travelled over from Japan particularly well.

Co-owner Bernie Schiappa insisted he was happy with the stall 14 draw for Game On Dude, who will be ridden by Chantal Sutherland, just as he was when runner-up in the Breeders' Cup Classic at Churchill Downs in November.

"It's perfect. The outside is fine with me. I can't repeat what Bob (Baffert) said on the phone," said Schiappa.

Sutherland said: "It's fine. Whatever happens, I'll deal with it. He has a tendency to sometimes break slow and if he was to do that, it could put us in a bit of a predicament on the rail, so on the outside we have more options."

Keith Dalton, who represented O'Brien, said of So You Think`s draw in four: "I was on the phone to Aidan O'Brien and he chose the fourth position, so I guess we're happy."

Godolphin took a different view, with racing manager Simon Crisford explaining they wanted to be away from the rail.

"We talked to all of our jockeys in the race and they felt from stall eight outward is the place to be," said Crisford.

"It can get very tight on the inside, especially if the pace is slow. If you miss the kick, you're likely to be in trouble. The pace looks likely to come from Game On Dude in stall 14, which has panned out well for us."

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