Moore's wishes come true for sterling attack
Trainer sees runners draw ideal gates in World Cup, Golden Shaheen fields for Dubai meeting
Trainer John Moore had his wishes granted at the Dubai World Cup barrier draw on Wednesday night as Military Attack and Sterling City came up with the right launching pads and the quiet Hong Kong confidence moved to outright optimism.
With his arch-rival Akeed Mofeed perfectly drawn in gate four, Military Attack drew eight - in the middle of the 16-strong US$10 million World Cup field - while Sterling City came up with four in the Golden Shaheen.
"I don't give it a second thought whether they'll handle the Tapeta. There's a rumour this track will go back to dirt next year and if that were the case, I'd make pretty sure I brought a dirt horse.
"But the Tapeta? Every horse I've brought here has handled it fine, with the exception of Dim Sum who travelled over badly and then cut himself and just didn't perform. I couldn't say it was the Tapeta track, though," Moore said.
"But the draws are vital and horses don't seem to come from well back to win on it, so I wanted the right draws for Military Attack - and in the middle was perfect - and a low draw means Sterling City won't have to get back too far. Dominant has drawn out in his race, but he goes back anyway and that is on the turf."
That draw may see Sterling City and Rich Tapestry, not as well off out in gate 12, flipped around for favouritism in the race, while Blazing Speed drew a neutral gate nine in the Dubai Duty Free.
Ante-post favourite and defending champion Shea Shea drew his preferred slot on the outside in the straight course Al Quoz Sprint, but Amber Sky in barrier eight is out there too, while 10-year-old Joy And Fun has gate one for his final race.
Moore said he "won't be surprised if Hong Kong wins two or three races", and has high hopes for Military Attack and Sterling City and even for surprise Hong Kong Vase winner, Dominant.
"I'm realistic - there are better horses in the race than Dominant. But he won the Vase when he was at the start of his campaign and had not had any preparation and now he is a much fitter animal," Moore said.
"That's the big thing for the Hong Kong horses here. We are two thirds of the way through our season, so they come here as our best horses, fully fit, while some of the other big names from Europe are just starting off."
Visitors and locals alike wrestled with a fresh and unexpected factor on Wednesday morning when the skies over Dubai opened and dumped significant rain that is expected to ease off later on Thursday.
"You wouldn't believe it - it rains two days a year here and we get this," laughed Moore, who was less concerned about any effect on the Meydan turf and Tapeta racetracks and more interested in the effect on a city drainage system, which appears to have been built without entertaining the advent of rain.
"I'm told that one World Cup in 1997 was postponed for a week when it rained and everything flooded, so I'm only worried about that. They tell me the rain makes the artificial Tapeta surface firmer, but it probably won't be a factor."
Golden Shaheen runner Sterling City had a run in with a pallet, but Moore said the minor wound over one eye was nothing to worry about.