Defending champion Ushba Tesoro has drawn post 5 in Saturday’s Group 1, $12 million Dubai World Cup.

The Noboru Takagi-trained Japanese star faces a captivating rematch at Meydan with American challenger Señor Buscador, with a head having separated the pair in last month’s Saudi Cup.

Ushba Tesoro’s name was the first to be picked out in the ceremony at the Armani Dubai Hotel on Wednesday evening, with the position assigned at random.

Jockey Yuga Kawada said, “stall 5 is not so bad, but he’s a horse that has to come from behind so really one to 12 makes no difference.”

Takagi added, “He’s going to come from the back anyway so it doesn’t really matter.”

Todd Fincher trainee Señor Buscador, the pride of his breeder and co-owner Joe Peacock Jr., was the second name selected and will break from stall 10.

“Very happy,” Peacock said. “We wanted outside, and we got outside.”

Senor Buscador, who won the Saudi Cup earlier this winter after a share in the son of Mineshaft was sold to Sharaf Mohammed al Hariri.

Kabirkhan, the sensation from Kazakhstan who is trained in the UAE by Doug Watson, drew 2.

“I kind of wanted the middle,” Watson said. “If he always broke really well I’d be delighted but he hasn’t done that. We’ve been working on it, but we hope he can do it on the night. At least it’s a shorter way around.”

Owner Tlek Mukanbetkaliyev added, “Happy to get an inside draw and hopefully he can be comfortable near the lead.”

Japan has brought a strong representation for the 1 1/4-mile, actually 2,000-meter, showdown. Ace jockey Christophe Lemaire is back aboard Derma Sotogake in post 8, a dazzling winner of the UAE Derby (G2) at this meeting last year and subsequently the runner-up in the Breeders’ Cup Classic.

Trainer Hidetaka Otonashi said, “We didn’t mind any stall really. Eight is considered a lucky number in Japan, so that’s pretty good.”

Lemaire described post 8 as “a very good draw in the middle which allows me to go forward into the first bend without burning up too much gas.”

Frankie Dettori is back aboard Bob Baffert rising star Newgate, a recent winner under the legendary rider in the Santa Anita Handicap (G1). Assistant trainer Jimmy Barnes was on hand as he was assigned post 6.

The other big local hope is Juddmonte’s Laurel River, who is trained by Bhupat Seemar and entered the Dubai World Cup picture after a clear-cut victory in the Burj Nahaar earlier in the month. He must run from the widest post of all in 12.

Jockey Tadhg O’Shea said: “Obviously being right on the outside is far from ideal. Saying that he’s a horse with a lot of early speed, and we’ll just have to play the cards we’re dealt.”

The lineup is completed by Crupi in post 1, other Japanese runners Dura Erede 3 and Wilson Tesoro 11, Defunded 9, Military Law 4, and Clapton 7.

Trainer Chad Summers said of Clapton, “We were hoping to be drawn in the middle.”

Alex Solis, owners’ representative of Crupi, said, “We’re drawn inside so hopefully we can save all the ground.”

Wilson Tesoro’s jockey, Yusuke Hara, said, The last two starts the jockey asked him to take a position early, so I’m expecting him to be a little bit keen. So that stall is ideal.”

$12 million Group 1 Dubai World Cup

Saturday / Meydan Racecourse / Post Time 12:35 pm ET US / Race 9

No.  Post   Horse Trainer  Jockey

1 (7) Clapton (Chad Summers / Dylan Davis)
2 (1) Crupi (Todd Pletcher / Luis Saez)
3 (9) Defunded (Abdulaziz K Mishriff / Abel Al Furyadi)
4 (8) Derma Sotogake (Hidetaka Otonashi / Christophe Lemaire)
5 (3) Dura Erede (Manabu Ikezoe / Bauyrzhan Murzabayev)
6 (2) Kabirkhan (Doug Watson / Pat Dobbs)
7 (12) Laurel River (Bhupat Seemar / Tadhg O’Shea)
8 (4) Military Law (Musabbeh Almheiri / Oscar Chavez)
9 (6) Newgate (Bob Baffert / Frankie Dettori)
10 (10) Senor Buscador (Todd Fincher / Junior Alvarado)
11 (5) Ushba Tesoro (Noboru Takagi / Yuga Kawada)
12 (11) Wilson Tesoro (Hitoshi Kotegawa / Yusuke Hara)

** Note ** Betting numbers and post positions do not match. Post positions are listed in parentheses

Race Schedule (all times US ET):

7:30 am | Race 1 | Group 1 Dubai Kahayla Classic (Arabians)
8:05 am | Race 2 | Group 2 Godolphin Mile
8:40 am | Race 3 | Group 2 Dubai Gold Cup
9:15 am | Race 4 | Group 1 Al Quoz Sprint
9:50 am | Race 5 | Group 2 UAE Derby
10:25 am | Race 6 | Group 1 Dubai Golden Shaheen
11:10 am | Race 7 | Group 1 Dubai Turf
12:00 pm | Race 8 | Group 1 Dubai Sheema Classic
12:35 pm| Race 9 | Group 1 Dubai World Cup