Country Grammer Gets Gate 14 For World Cup Defence

DUBAI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES — Country Grammer (Tonalist) was assigned gate 14 in a field of 15 when he goes out in defense of his title in Saturday’s G1 Dubai World Cup Sponsored by Emirates Airline at Meydan Racecourse, with the draw held at the Armani Hotel in central Dubai. The 6-year-old, the final World Cup ride for jockey Frankie Dettori, won the GII San Antonio S. in dominating fashion in late December and returned to Riyadh last time to reprise his runner-up effort from last year in the $20-million G1 Saudi Cup four weeks back.

The horse that beat him on that occasion from the rail, Panthalassa (Jpn) (Lord Kanaloa {Jpn}), drew the groan-enducing 15 hole by trainer Yoshito Yahagi. Significantly, the Saudi Cup runs over a one-turn nine-furlong trip, but the 2000-metre World Cup begins near the wire and has a relatively short space to the first turn. There will be little margin of error for jockey Yutaka Yoshida.

With the focus on the eight-strong entry from Japan, headed by Panthalassa, Algiers (Ire) (Shamardal) is the somewhat forgotten horse going into the weekend despite tough-trip blowout victories in the G2 Al Maktoum Challenge R1 and R2 and also drew awkwardly in gate 13. Group 1 winner Salute the Soldier (Ger) (Sepoy {Aus}) won Round 3 of the Al Maktoum Challenge over Bendoog (Gun Runner) and that duo drew gates four and seven, respectively.

Saturday, Meydan, UAE, post time: 8:35 p.m. ET
1 (13) Algiers (Ire) (Shamardal)
2 (7) Bendoog (Gun Runner)
3 (10) Cafe Pharoah (American Pharoah)
4 (14) Country Grammer (Tonalist)
5 (12) Crown Pride (Jpn) (Reach the Crown {Jpn})
6 (2) Emblem Road (Quality Road)
7 (9) Geoglyph (Jpn) (Drefong)
8 (3) Jun Light Bolt (Jpn) (King Kamehameha {Jpn})
9 (15) Panthalassa (Jpn) (Lord Kanaloa {Jpn})
10 (1) Remorse (Ire) (Dubawi {Ire})
11 (4) Salute the Soldier (Ger) (Sepoy {Aus})
12 (11) Super Corinto (Arg) (Super Saver)
13 (6) T O Keynes (Jpn) (Sinister Minister)
14 (8) Ushba Tesoro (Jpn) (Orfevre {Jpn})
15 (5) Vela Azul (Jpn) (Eishin Flash {Jpn})

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