Plum draw for So You Think in 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.

“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.”

* Horse Racing Ireland (HRI) yesterday announced an amendment to the race times for the afternoon fixture at Navan on Saturday.

The meeting, which was originally scheduled to start at 2.00, will now commence at 2.35. Eight races are planned, the 2½ mile Handicap Hurdle will be divided, and the last goes off at 6.30.

HRI sanctioned the change following a request from the Irish off-course betting industry. At present Irish betting shops are prohibited from opening after 6.30pm from September to March, unless an Irish race is scheduled on or after 6.30pm.

This move will therefore mean that the betting shops can stay open beyond 6.30 this Saturday and show the Dubai World Cup at 6.40

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