African Story, equally eye-catching when winning the G2 Godolphin Mile in Dubai last time, is drawn wider in Gate 10 but trainer Saeed bin Suroor is satisfied.
“Ten is better than three in my view,” said bin Suroor, who was faced with those two possibilities as one of the last pair to draw. “I think there will be plenty of speed and I will be happy for him to get a clear run just behind the pace rather than being bottled up.
Fellow overseas raiders King’s Rose and Musir have drawn wider still in 11 and 12 respectively. King’s Rose’s trainer Peter Moody is not unduly troubled by an outside starting berth.
“We planned to ride her more conservatively in any case so 11 is no real issue,” said Moody. “There’s a fair run to the first turn and the tempo should be fine. If she’s three deep midfield with cover then that’s okay.”
John Moore’s quintet drew favourably with Destined For Glory in Gate 2, Sunny King in 3, Admiration drawn 5, Xtension in 8 and Able One set to spring from Gate 9.
“Xtension is drawn reasonably in Gate 8,” said Moore. “That gives him options and we’ll see how well he finishes off.
“Able One has Gate 9 and likes to roll forward. But he has Beauty Flash on the inside and it just depends how hard Beauty Flash wants to go. His work has been exceptional and Jeff Lloyd is over the moon with him.
“Admiration is drawn five and I can see him going right behind the speed. He has a little bit of arrogance about him – he holds back a little bit being an entire and he has to be wound up between the 500m and 400m. His work’s been exceptional.”
Gate 14, being the widest, is invariably seen as the least favourable draw so there was palpable relief among opposing connections when that berth went to the Caspar Fownes-trained Lucky Nine. The random process saw the gelding’s stable-mate Fair Trade up next and the six-year-old will start alongside after owner Tony Stradmoor revealed Gate 13 as his berth.
“I think it will be fine,” said Stradmoor. “It depends if we’re going to be lucky enough to slot in from there. It’s going to be a tough race and a lot will depend on how lucky we are on the day.”
The John Size-trained Glorious Days will break from Gate 6, while Beauty Flash from the Tony Cruz stable has the one gate.