The horseracing fan's guide to the World Cup
If you prefer fetlocks to football and view this summer's World Cup merely as an inconvenience that forces Royal Ascot on to ITV4, fear not, here is the Racing Post's ultimate guide to the World Cup – for racing fans! We've cast each team as a racehorse to provide a better idea of the team for you
If Russia were a horse they would be 11-time Fontwell winner St Athans Lad. They look up against it on all known form as the lowest ranked team in the competition, but it is always dangerous to rule out the team competing on their home turf.
Saudi Arabia would be Derby 'hope' Diore Lia. The lowly rated filly who nearly ran in the greatest race on turf was an absolute no-hoper, and so are Saudi Arabia.
Uruguay would be Might Bite. Described by many pundits as a dark horse, and Might Bite is literally a big, beautiful dark horse. He also possesses a potent attack, as do Uruguay with Edison Cavani and Luis Suarez. The last mentioned should also come with the horse's name emblazoned on his forehead as a warning.
Portugal would be the mighty old-timer Cue Card. Sure they are getting on a bit, but the reigning European champions still possess the talent to be a factor with Cristiano Ronaldo.
Spain would be the Derby-winning son of Derby winner Galileo and Oaks winner Ouija Board – Australia. In short, they have got the pedigree and class that very few possess, a full trophy cabinet and a squad absolutely stacked with world-class talent.
Iran would be Sheikhzayedroad. Game, competitive, capable and better than odds suggest, but likely to come up agonisingly short given the size of the task presented to them.
France would be Kauto Star. Big, powerful, athletic, imposing and full of Gallic flair with the likes of Paul Pogba, Kylian Mbappe and Antoine Griezmann capable of winning any game – but they are also capable of blowing it all in a moment of madness.
Peru would be grand old warrior Lough Derg. They play entertaining, heart-in-mouth attacking football, but will ultimately be outclassed.
Argentina would be superstar speedball Battaash. With Lionel Messi, Sergio Aguero, Paulo Dybala and Gonzalo Higuain they possess an electric attack. Their defence, on the other hand, is infinitely more vulnerable.
Croatia would be last year's Supreme winner Labaik. They are highly volatile and could easily blow over, but they are also incredibly classy if they consent to run their race.
Brazil would be the 'will he fall or will he win' merchant that was Moscow Flyer. Brilliant and dazzling at their very best, with the likes of Neymar and Philippe Coutinho capable of tearing even the best defences apart, but also possessing that vulnerable underbelly that makes them all the more loveable.
Costa Rica would be somewhat surprise Grade 1-winning hurdler Mick Jazz. Yes, they could potentially cause an upset, but realistically they would need the big guns to underperform.
Germany would be The Tank – also known as Denman. Ruthless efficiency is a hallmark of German teams and with the vast array of superstars at their disposal the reigning champions will try to grind their rivals into submission.
Sweden would be JP McManus's Grand Annual winner Le Prezien. Definitely decent, with an efficient approach, but just lacking the talent to go all the way.
Belgium would be 'how has he not won that' specialist Harchibald. They are wondrously talented – an attack featuring Eden Hazard, Kevin de Bruyne and Romelu Lukaku is the envy of many a nation –but so far they have failed to deliver on anything like their potential.
Tunisia would be Haldon Gold Cup runner-up, Tingle Creek fifth, Clarence House fourth and Celebration Chase runner-up San Benedeto. They are a decent yardstick, sure, and even capable of winning races, but they are just out of their depth.
Poland would be sprinter/miler/seven-furlong specialist Limato. They are fundamentally a bit flawed, with one or two holes in them, but in the likes of Robert Lewandowski they also have that touch of class.
Colombia would be Gold Cup hero Native River. With James Rodriguez and Radamel Falcao leading the line it is going to be all-out attack for the quarter-finalists last time.
Have your say: think you can do better, comment below as to which horse you would cast as each of the 32 teams involved in this year's World Cup.