x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 25 July 2017

Jockey O’Brien counting on natural growth from Ruler Of The World in Dubai World Cup

Joseph O’Brien is counting on the natural progression of Ruler Of The World to lift the pair to a first Dubai World Cup win for the Ballydoyle operation at Meydan Racecourse.

Joseph O'Brien, here riding Battle Of Marengo to win The PW McGrath Memorial Ballysax Stakes at Leopardstown on April 14, 2013 in Dublin, Ireland, says he is expecting his charger Ruler Of The World to naturally progress. Alan Crowhurst / Getty Images
Joseph O'Brien, here riding Battle Of Marengo to win The PW McGrath Memorial Ballysax Stakes at Leopardstown on April 14, 2013 in Dublin, Ireland, says he is expecting his charger Ruler Of The World to naturally progress. Alan Crowhurst / Getty Images

DUBAI // Joseph O’Brien is counting on the natural progression of Ruler Of The World to lift the pair to a first Dubai World Cup win for the Ballydoyle operation at Meydan Racecourse on Saturday night.

O’Brien junior was atop the Dubai World Cup favourite when Aidan O’Brien’s six horses stretched their legs at Meydan for the first time on Friday.

Ballydoyle sent over Cape Blanco to finish fourth in the 2011 World Cup and So You Think filled the same spot 12 months later.

“A lot of people forget that at this time last year he had never seen a racecourse,” O’Brien said, in the absence of his father who is arriving in Dubai on Saturday.

“He seems to have wintered well and it is encouraging that his brother [Duke Of Marmalade] improved from three to four.

“There is nothing to suggest he won’t do the same.”

Ruler Of The World has not raced since finishing third in the Champion Stakes at Ascot in October, which is a cause for concern as an overwhelming majority of World Cup runners that have filled the first three places have graduated from a recent prep run.

O’Brien junior, however, highlighted that Saturday night’s rich event was not necessarily the be all and end all.

“I would have liked him to have a prep but there are plenty of big races ahead in which he can be very competitive,” the 20-year-old rider said.

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