Michael Stidham said he "couldn’t be happier" after Mystic Guide was drawn in gate six in the silver jubilee running of the Dubai World Cup at Meydan on Saturday.
The four-year-colt is one of Godolphin’s three runners from three different continents in Dubai World Cup meeting’s flagship race that has drawn the maximum allowed field of 14 runners.
The US-based Mystic Guide arrives on the back of a victory in the Grade 3 Razorback Handicap at Oaklawn Park on February 27 and is a leading fancy in the $12million race.
“It's perfect. I couldn’t be happier,” Stidham said after the post-position draw ceremony at Meydan on Wednesday.
A minute's silence was observed as mark of respect for Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid, Deputy Ruler of Dubai and Minister of Finance, and one of the world's leading owner-breeders who passed away on Wednesday.
While Mystic Guide had the best draw of the three Godolphin runners in the race, Saeed bin Suroor’s Gifts Of Gold was drawn widest in gate 14 and Andre Fabre’s Magny Cours in gate 12.
“The draw is not the best [for Gifts Of Gold] but we’ll have to deal with it,” Bin Suroor, the most successful trainer with nine Dubai World Cup wins, said.
“On a positive note, the horse is doing well. He can jump well from the stalls to overcome the wide draw, hopefully.
“I’m happy with the way he has trained after coming back from his win [in the Red Sea Turf Handicap at the Saudi Cup meeting on February 20] from Saudi. We are looking forward to seeing him run well.”
Richard Lambert, traveling head lad for French trainer Fabre said they would have preferred gate six to eight for Magny Cours.
“My boss would probably have preferred something like stall 6, 7 or 8, but 12 is okay,” he said.
“He is not a horse who shows a lot of speed at the start, but after the first turn he starts to accelerate so the draw isn’t as important.”
Of the local entries, Musabah Al Muhairi’s Military Law, winner of the Al Maktoum Challenge Round 1 and sixth in the $20million Saudi Cup, will break from gate five.
“I am very happy with the draw,” Al Muhairi said. “This is perfect and I just couldn’t have asked for a better position for him to start.
“If he jumps out well and Antonio Fresu can get him into a good position just off the pace then we have every reason to believe he will be in a good position to contest the finish. He will work for the last time on Thursday and we will have him ready for race day.”
Doug Watson’s Thegreatcollection starts from gate eight and Salem bin Ghadayer’s pair Hypothetical and Capezzano are in gate two and seven, respectively.
Watson said of the Thegreatcollection: “We have to be happy with eight and we know he is a horse who likes to be ridden patiently so, hopefully, there is plenty of early pace and he can pick up in the straight. He is in great form and looks fantastic anyway.”
Bahraini trainer Fawzi Nass’ Salute The Soldier, winner of both the second and third legs of the Al Maktoum Challenge drew gate 11.
“Obviously we would have preferred a lower draw but it is what it is and, in Adrie de Vries, we have a top jockey who will ride his race as he sees fit,” Nass added.
The Japanese raider Chuwa Wizard jumps out from gate three and his handler Ryuji Okubo said: “It is a good draw. I didn't want a wide gate because [the start] is close to the first turn.”
The Grade 1 Pegasus World Cup Invitational runner-up Jesus' Team will jump from stall nine and will have Sleepy Eyes Todd next to him in 10.
“When I saw post position nine I was happy because it's in the middle,” said Jose Francisco D’Angelo, the trainer of Jesus’ Team.
“He doesn't need to make an aggressive move at the beginning. I like the number nine,.
“It was a relief. In the Breeders' Cup Mile, he had to start from gate 11. He can move fast to find a good spot.”
Saudi raider Great Scot, third behind Mishriff and Charlatan in the Saudi Cup, is drawn in gate 1 while Title Ready is in gate four and Uruguayan raider Ajuste Fiscal in gate 13.