Timeform bring you their runner-by-runner guide to Saturday's Dubai World Cup at Meydan...
"...a repeat of that latest effort would make him the clear one to beat here..."
Timeform on West Coast
1. AWARDEE (Yutaka Take/Mikio Matsunaga)
Smart performer who was not disgraced when 10 and a half lengths fifth to Arrogate in this race 12 months ago. Failed to win in five subsequent starts, however, including when well held over an insufficient trip last time, and no obvious reason why he should improve on last season's placing.
2. NORTH AMERICA (Richard Mullen/Satish Seemar)
Five-time course winner who produced career-best effort when winning Maktoum Challenge Round 3 over C&D (by five and a quarter lengths from Thunder Snow) last time. Had positional advantage given how the race developed, though, and unlikely to find things panning out quite so favourably here, for all that he is clearly thriving at present.
3. GUNNEVERA (Joel Rosario/Antonio Sano)
Posted creditable efforts on last two starts at three, in Travers Stakes at Saratoga (three and a quarter lengths second to West Coast) and Breeders' Cup Classic at Del Mar (six and a quarter lengths fifth to Gun Runner), and ran respectably when 13 and a quarter lengths third of 12 to last-named rival in Pegasus World Cup at Gulfstream last time. Hard to fancy for win purposes, but could run into a place again.
4. FURIA CRUZADA (Antonio Fresu/Erwan Charpy)
Smart mare who won Maktoum Challenge Round 2 here in February 2017, but without a win from 11 subsequent starts and appears to face an uphill task having finished only nine lengths third to North America in Maktoum Challenge Round 3 over C&D three weeks ago.
5. MUBTAAHIJ (Victor Espinoza/Bob Baffert)
2015 UAE Derby winner for Mike de Kock who returned to finish three and three quarter lengths second to California Chrome in this race the following year, and wasn't disgraced from poor draw when nine lengths fourth to Arrogate 12 months ago. Showed very smart form in five starts for current yard subsequently, including when winning Grade 1 at Santa Anita in September, but looks stable second string.
6. FOREVER UNBRIDLED (Mike Smith/Dallas Stewart)
High-class mare who won all three starts in 2017, including Personal Ensign Stakes at Saratoga and Breeders' Cup Distaff at Del Mar (by half a length from Abel Tasman), sticking to task well on latter occasion. Stamina to prove stepping up to 1¼m for first time after five months off the track, but cannot be discounted in receipt of 14 lb from the boys.
7. TALISMANIC (Mickael Barzalona/Andre Fabre)
Won three times in 2017, notably Breeders' Cup Turf at Del Mar (by half a length from Beach Patrol), and placed on all other starts last year, including in Hong Kong Vase at Sha Tin (one and a quarter lengths second to Highland Reel). Made satisfactory return when winning minor event on polytrack at Chantilly earlier this month and pedigree offers encouragement that he will handle the dirt. Respected.
8. PAVEL (Mario Gutierrez/Doug O'Neill)
Very smart colt who won two of six starts in 2017 and can be forgiven below-par effort when fourth on return in Grade 2 at Santa Anita, unable to get clear run at a crucial time. Limitations at this level exposed when beating only one home in Breeders' Cup Classic, however.
9. WEST COAST (Javier Castellano/Bob Baffert)
Top-class performer who came a long way in a short space of time last season, winning six times including Travers Stakes at Saratoga (by three and a quarter lengths from Gunnevera). Placed behind Gun Runner last two starts, in Breeders' Cup Classic at Del Mar (three and a half lengths third) and Pegasus World Cup at Gulfstream (two and a half lengths second, pair well clear), and a repeat of that latest effort would make him the clear one to beat here.
10. THUNDER SNOW (Christophe Soumillon/Saeed bin Suroor)
Versatile performer who won UAE 2000 Guineas and UAE Derby, both here, and Prix Jean Prat on turf at Chantilly in 2017. Proved better than ever when winning Maktoum Challenge Round 2 here (by neck from North America) in February and had excuses when chasing home same rival in Round 3 over C&D last time, not ideally placed. Widest draw to contend with here, however, and even best form leaves him with plenty to find.
Timeform Dubai World Cup 1-2-3
1. West Coast
2. Forever Unbridled
3. North America
Timeform Dubai World Cup Analyst's Verdict
WEST COAST produced a top-class performance when runner-up in the Pegasus World Cup, just unlucky to meet one with outstanding ability, and can provide Bob Baffert with a fourth success in this event. Forever Unbridled won all 3 of her outings last year, including the Breeders' Cup Distaff, and is feared most ahead of North America, who was an easy winner of the Maktoum Challenge Round 3 over C&D.