Dubai: Dignitaries, sponsors, owners, trainers and jockeys all gathered along with multitudes of media from across the world for a reception in the Meydan Grandstand, the purpose of which was to make the gate position draw for Dubai World Cup night’s Group 1 contests. After meeting everyone in the early mornings at which point we all have our jobs to do, this genial mixing of the social and business aspect during such an important week brings all factions together and the buzz of excitement in the air is tangible.

As always at such an event there are winners and losers. The lucky and the unfortunate. In to the latter category we can surely place the sporting Korean team with Dolkong, who after providing them with such a landmark first Carnival win a month ago and a hugely creditable third on Super Saturday, he was the last name out of the ‘hat’ and left with the hideous gate 13. The flip side of that coin was Gunnevera whose trainer opted for inside rather than outside [all that was left] so gate 1 it is. I hope he is feeling sharp on Saturday.

Dallas Stewart was fortunate in being selected early on and chose 5 for Seeking the Soul. Even happier was Satish Seemar, first to be called up as he went for gate 3 and may be singing a lullaby to North America to ensure a good night’s sleep leaves him fully freshened on Saturday to avoid a repeat of last year’s lacklustre display. Everyone say a prayer for the glorious Thunder Snow, the reigning champion posted out in 12 this time.

— The author is an ex-trainer and the mother of leading jockeys, James and Sophie Doyle