DUBAI // The Hong Kong challengers have been the talk at Meydan all week, but Japan have the form in the book when it comes to winning on Dubai World Cup night and rely on a three-pronged attack in the Dubai Duty Free.
Just A Way, Tokei Halo and Logotype all take their chance in the 1,800-metre Group 1 event that Japan seized in 2007 with Admire Moon.
Just A Way showed his class with a crushing victory over Gentildonna, the dual Japan Cup winner, in the Tenno Sho in the autumn.
The son of Heart’s Cry, the 2006 Dubai Sheema Classic winner, warmed up for Dubai with a fluid win in a Grade 2 at Nakayama this month. Yuichi Fukunaga missed that race but was on board for the defeat of Gentildonna and he partnered his mount in a stalls practice yesterday at morning trackwork in preparation for Saturday’s race.
On Wednesday, Just A Way surprised Naosuke Sugai, his trainer, by posting training times faster than expected in his final work.
For his part, Sugai has hardly been talking his chances down this week, either.
“He had a nice, strong gallop and we were very pleased. We are very happy with our draw in gate two,” he said. “I expect a lot of improvement from his prep run.
“All being well, he will run a very good race as everything has gone to plan so far.”
Tokei Halo is likely to duel for the lead with Anaerobio.
It was Anaerobio who came off the rail in the Jebel Hatta on Super Saturday to give Christophe Soumillon a dream run up the inside on Vercingetorix to go on and win the Group 1 contest with ease.
Mike de Kock trains both horses and convened with Soumillon for a team talk on Thursday night. The trainer underlined that Vercingetorix does not necessarily have to come from off the pace.
“He is a very versatile horse,” De Kock said. “He has speed, so if they go slow he can kick, and he has acceleration and, if they go fast, he has the stamina. Pace will not be a factor.”
One trainer who does hope Anaerobio and Vercingetorix set up a fast pace is David Simcock, whose Trade Storm was fourth in the Jebel Hatta and is bidding to improve on his fourth place here 12 months ago.
Trade Storm is one of three English runners, including the fillies Dank and The Fugue.
“There are two outstanding horses in The Fugue and Just A Way,” Simcock said. “I feel the better quality of a race, the better it will suit my horse. He likes to take a tow into his race and come late. Hopefully we will get that.”
Check out our INTERACTIVE RACECARD for Saturday night's events at Meydan Racecourse on Dubai World Cup night.
Follow us on twitter at @SprtNationalUAE