Dubai, United Arab Emirates (SportsNetwork.com) - Ron the Greek, winner of last year's Jockey Club Gold Cup, has drawn the far outside post in a field of 16 international runners for Saturday's $10 million Dubai World Cup at Meydan Racecourse.
Owned by King Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz of Saudi Arabia, Ron the Greek will be ridden by Jose Lezcano who was aboard the horse when he won the Gold Cup at Belmont Park last Sept. 28 by 6 3/4 lengths.
Saturday's 1 1/4-mile race will be the 7-year-old's second start over a synthetic track.
"He ran fourth in an allowance race at Keeneland (April 3, 2011)," trainer Nicholas Bachalard said, "but the distance (1 1/16 miles) was too short and he's a better horse now than he was back then. The only way to find out (if he'll handle it) is to run on it."
Ron the Greek is the winner of 10 of 30 career starts for just over $2.7 million. The World Cup will be the second race of the year for the 7-year-old having won an allowance contest on Feb 15 in Saudi Arabia.
"The horse has been training very well," Bachalard said. "Lezcano has his work cut out for him. It's a long way around (from the outside)."
Ron the Greek, formerly trained by Bill Mott, began his 2013 campaign with a win in the Florida Sunshine Millions Classic at Gulfstream Park on a sloppy track. Between that win and the Gold Cup, Ron the Greek finished fourth in the Santa Anita Handicap, third in both the Charles Town Classic and Stephen Foster and was fourth in the Whitney and Woodward.
His other major stakes wins came in the 2012 Santa Anita and Stephen Foster. Handicaps.
Here is the field for the 19th Dubai World Cup in post position order: Prince Bishop, Kieren Fallon; Belshazzar, Christophe Lemaire; Vancouverite, William Buick; Akeed Mofeed, Douglas Whyte; Sanshaawes, Christophe Soumillon; African Story, Silvestre De Sousa; Hillstar, Ryan Moore; Military Attack, Joao Moreira; Side Glance, Jamie Spencer; Surfer, Richard Mullen; Hokko Tarumae, Hideaki Miyuki; Ruler of The World, Joseph O'Brien; Mukhadram, Paul Hanagan; Red Cadeaux, Gerald Mosse; Cat O Mountain, Mickael Barzalona and Ron the Greek, Jose Lezcano.
Last year's World Cup was won by 2011 Kentucky Derby champ Animal Kingdom.