Views from connections ahead of the Dubai World Cup at Meydan on Saturday featuring Derby winner Ruler Of The World.
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Joseph O'Brien, the man in the hotseat when Ruler Of The World makes his debut for new part-owners Al Shaqab Racing in the Dubai World Cup, believes the colt has the scope to enjoy a long and prosperous season.
Trainer Aidan O'Brien's son reached Meydan ahead of his father specifically to partner the Investec Derby winner in some light work on the Tapeta track.
The Coolmore horses went out just before 7am on a beautifully warm morning and Ruler Of The World enjoyed himself in a swinging canter, with no questions asked.
Joseph O'Brien said: "Ruler Of The World has done plenty of work at home and I just gave him a little canter round to let him stretch his legs.
"He seems to have travelled well and is in good form. He's matured and his work has been pretty good.
"He just did a hack and a trot. It's very difficult to know whether he will handle the surface which is new to him.
"A lot of people forget that at this time last year he'd never seen a racecourse.
"If getting to choose, though, I wouldn't have picked stall 12, but it is what it is and well have to make the best of it.
"He seems to have wintered well, and it's encouraging that his brother (Duke Of Marmalade) improved from three to four (years of age). There's nothing to suggest he won't do the same.
"He has a great attitude and won the Derby on only his third ever start. I would have liked him to have a prep run but there are plenty of big races ahead in which he can be very competitive.
"He's ready to get started in what will hopefully be a long and successful season.
"He's ready to do himself justice."
Harry Herbert, racing adviser to Sheikh Joaan and the man behind negotiations to buy into Ruler Of The World, was thrilled by the purchase.
He said: "Sheikh Joaan said weeks ago that he would love to have a horse competing in Al Shaqab silks in the Dubai World Cup.
"We had our backs to the wall time-wise and it wasn't easy, but the Coolmore team and John Magnier were amazing.
"The negotiations were conducted very much from the top, between Sheikh Joaan and John Magnier. It was just a question of the finer detail.
"We have made quite clear our intention of going forward with a new team organisation in the game with new stock, but also looking to buy into proven horses if we can, as has been the case with the likes of Treve, Olympic Glory and especially Toronado."
Ryan Moore was in the saddle when Ruler Of The World landed the Derby, but the in-demand pilot is teaming up with Royal Ascot winner Hillstar, who was some way behind in the Champion Stakes.
"He's really loving it here and has settled in very well," said trainer Sir Michael Stoute.
"We've had luck with the draw (seven) but it's a tough race."
Remarkable global traveller Red Cadeaux was beaten only by Animal Kingdom in last year's race, and has subsequently made other notable performances in defeat in Japan, Australia and Hong Kong.
Trainer Ed Dunlop said: "We will drop him in from his outside draw (stall 14) and try and pick up the pieces if we can.
"He has won nearly £4million in prize-money, been second in two Melbourne Cups and been second here.
"Everyone seems to love him and he may be a perennial bridesmaid but we will settle for that."
Godolphin horses have claimed the feature a record five times, each of which were trained by Saeed bin Suroor.
He and colleague Charlie Appleby field a pair each this time, with Bin Suroor having the best hand via Group One Al Maktoum Challenge winner Prince Bishop and African Story.
"We have always really liked Prince Bishop and he has thrived this year. He has a good draw (one) and we expect a big run," said the trainer.
"African Story lost his chance at the start last time when he banged his head.
"He is better than that and was a closing fifth in this last year, having won the Godolphin Mile in 2012."
Vancouverite rose through the ranks for Andre Fabre last year and made a pleasing comeback, but Appleby does not hold much hope for Cat O'Mountain improving on his fourth to Prince Bishop last time.
"The draw (15) has not been kind to Cat O'Mountain and Mickael (Barzalona, jockey) is particularly disappointed," he said.
"We will have to ride him for luck and hope some gaps appear in the straight.
"Vancouverite ran well on turf on Super Saturday over 1800 metres, and will appreciate this extra 200m and the switch to the all-weather should not be an issue. I am really looking forward to running them both."
Last year's fourth, the Andrew Balding-trained Side Glance, became a Group One winner in Australia last November.
David Redvers, for owners Pearl Bloodstock, said: "All that could go wrong in his prep race did go wrong but he has come on for that run three weeks ago and is in very good hands.
"He thrives on his travel but he does need a strong pace and his chance will depend on how well he settles."
Sheikh Hamdan Al Maktoum, owner of Mukhadram, has been critical of the Tapeta surface, and last season's Eclipse and Royal Ascot place-getter must also break from stall 13.
Sheikh Hamdan said: "The surface is an unknown for him. Richard Hills took him to Kempton on a similar surface and he seemed to handle it but we will only find out on Saturday if he really copes with it."
Trainer William Haggas said: "We would have preferred a lower draw, certainly, and the surface is a big question mark.
"We will find out on Saturday whether he handles it."
There has not yet been a Hong Kong-trained winner of the World Cup, but the former colony has sent two live contenders.
Akeed Mofeed is prepared by Englishman Richard Gibson, and started out life with John Oxx.
He has established a continuing rivalry with the John Moore-trained Military Attack through the main races.
In last month's Hong Kong Gold Cup, Military Attack won handsomely.
Moore said: "He has drawn well in midfield to give us options and we'd have to say we're pretty happy with how things are going."
Gibson said: "I'm thrilled that we drew barrier four. Statistically it's the best draw in the race, so we can't be disappointed with that.
"I think he will find this race more truly run than a lot of 10-furlong races in Hong Kong and I think that will suit him.
"The surface is not going to present a problem either."
Mike de Kock dominates the Carnival but has never won the World Cup.
This year the South African handler is responsible for Sanshaawes, a close second to Prince Bishop last time.
He said: "He is in great form at home but, realistically, we would be delighted with a placed effort."
Ron The Greek, an experienced and reliable dirt performer in America, now represents Saudi Arabia and is trained by a Frenchman in Nicolas Bachalard.
Bachalard said: "We haven't run on the all-weather, but he is a good horse and you don't know until you try."
Belshazzar and Hokko Tarumae are closely tied on Japanese form and the former's trainer, Kunihide Matsuda, said: "He is as fit as fiddle and is in a great order.
"I think the horse has adapted and enjoyed the training on the all-weather surface and looks very relaxed indeed."
Hokko Tarumae's trainer Katsuichi Nishiura said: "Since arriving in Dubai he has come along according to plan."