Riyadh Saudi Cup Meeting Preview

Riyadh - February 20 2021
Riyadh 13:00
2(3)
Joel Rosario

Channel Maker

J:
 
Joel Rosario
T:
 
William Mott
Age: 7
Weight: 9-0
OR: N/A

The first race from Saudi Arabia on Saturday is the Neom Turf Cup and although British raider Tilsit sits at the top of the market, we are siding with Channel Maker.

The William Mott trained seven year old is a very consistent animal that has hit the frame on all of his last five runs, including landing two Grade One events in America.

Three starts ago he landed a Grade One at Saratoga over 1m 4f and bcked that up over the same distance at Belmont in another black type event.

The last time he was seen on a racecourse was when a close third behind Tarnawa and Magical in the Grade One Breeders Cup Turf at Keeneland and that sets the form standard heading into the event.

DateCourseDistanceTypeWeightPosition
09/10/21BLM12Fm9-04
28/08/21SAR12Fm8-106
31/07/21SAR11Gd8-127
27/03/21MEY12Gd9-08
20/02/21JAN10.5GF9-02
Riyadh - February 20 2021
Riyadh 13:35
9(2)
William Buick

Space Blues

J:
 
William Buick
T:
 
Charlie Appleby
Age: 5
Weight: 9-0
OR: N/A
Days: 195

The Turf Sprint over 6 1/2 furlongs sees plenty of British raiders, but there is only one that takes the eye for us and that is the Charlie Appleby trained Space Blues.

The four year old has been one of the most progressive horses in training this season winning his last four races in fine style including the Group Two Lennox Stakes at Glorious Goodwood and the Group One Prix Maurice De Gheest.

The son of Dubawi started his campaign at Haydock in the Listed Spring Trophy Stakes and was then sent over to ParisLongchamp for the Prix le Porte Malliot, where he again improved to beat stablemate D'bai.

His progressive nature then saw him land the Group Two at Goodwood and then make it four wins in a row at Deauville in the Group One Prix Maurice De Gheest.

Having suffered a slight injury setback he is having his first run in this event since August, but if back to full fitness has to be the horse to beat off the back of how progressive he has been over the last year.

DateCourseDistanceTypeWeightPosition
03/10/21LON7Hy9-21
21/08/21YOR7Gd9-61
27/07/21GOO7Sft9-34
27/03/21MEY6Gd9-59
20/02/21JAN7GF9-01
Riyadh - February 20 2021
Riyadh 14:10
2(4)
Frankie Dettori

Prince Of Arran

J:
 
Frankie Dettori
T:
 
Charlie Fellowes
Age: 8
Weight: 9-6
OR: N/A
Days: 14

The Red Sea Turf Handicap over 1m7f sees some of the best jet-setting stayers in the sport take on each other and we think it is time that Prince Of Arran gets his neck in front.

The eight year old trained by Charlie Fellowes was looking to make it third time lucky in the Group One Melbourne Cup in November after placing on both his tries in the event previously and his handler was over the moon with how he handled both his events down under having finished fourth of 18 at Caulfield before the prestigious race.

Like the majority of his races, Prince Of Arran stayed out the two miles better than most of the runners with him doing his best work at the finish only being beaten by 1/2 length into third.

Since then he has only been seen once and it was over two miles at Kempton in the start of February and it saw him finish third of four runners in an all weather qualifier event.

This race was used to get him fit and ready for this event and having proved he can mix it a this level, over this distance, we now believe he is value to go close once more.

DateCourseDistanceTypeWeightPosition
28/04/21ASC16GF9-25
20/02/21JAN15GF9-69
06/02/21KEM16St/Slw9-53
03/11/20FLE16Gd8-83
17/10/20CAU12GS8-84
Riyadh - February 20 2021
Riyadh 16:10
13(7)
Mike E Smith

Soft Whisper

J:
 
Mike E Smith
T:
 
Saeed bin Suroor
Age: 3
Weight: 8-9
OR: N/A
Days: 23

The Saudi Derby comes next over a mile and the top of the market is dominated by Godolphin Blue with Rebel's Romance and Soft Whisper very hard to pick apart.

We have gone with the Saeed bin Suroor trained filly Soft Whisper who will be receiving weight off the majority of the field, which could be the slight difference.

The three year old having been a smart horse in minor events in Britain last term, winning her last two starts at Salisbury and Pontefract.

This term she has taken her form to a new level by extending her unbeaten run to four, with two more smart efforts at Meydan over seven furlongs and a mile.

On her first start this year she landed the UAE 1000 Guineas Trial at Meydan by close to three lengths and then backed that up stepping up to a mile in the actual UAE 1000 Guineas, winning the event by seven lengths.

The form of that run has since been franked with the second since coming out and winning the race and if improving again will be tough to beat.

DateCourseDistanceTypeWeightPosition
24/09/21NMK8GF8-121
27/03/21MEY9.5Fs8-50
20/02/21JAN8Fs8-95
28/01/21MEY8Fs9-01
07/01/21MEY7Fs9-01
Riyadh - February 20 2021
Riyadh 16:50
9(11)
Cieren Fallon

Oxted

J:
 
Cieren Fallon
T:
 
Roger Teal
Age: 5
Weight: 9-0
OR: N/A
Days: 126

Trainer Roger Teal has sends his stable star Oxted for his first start on dirt in the Riyadh Dirt Sprint worth $1.5million and if taking to the surface is the stand out selection on form.

Oxted has bounced onto the racing scene this term having showed huge promise as a juvenile when landing his final contest in September, he has gone on to do things for his handler they never thought would be possible.

After building in size and maturing for the winter, Oxted started his three year old career in the Group Three Abernant Stakes, seeing off a decent field of seven runners who have previous group race experience.

Having looked very professional at Newmarket he was sent back there for his first experience in a Group One with the July Cup over six furlongs attracting a superstar field of runners.

Roger Teal's sprinter saw off the classy group to land his first ever black type victory with his jockey, the young Cieren Fallon also landing his first ever Group One success.

Last time out the black type winner could only finish fifth of 16 runners in the Champion Sprint Stakes where he was only length behind the winner Glen Shiel, and his trainer believes that the heavy ground did not play to his strengths.

DateCourseDistanceTypeWeightPosition
15/06/21ASC5GF9-51
12/05/21YOR6GS9-83
15/04/21NMK6GF9-72
20/02/21JAN6Fs9-07
17/10/20ASC6Sft9-25
Riyadh - February 20 2021
Riyadh 17:40
3(9)
Mike E Smith

Charlatan

J:
 
Mike E Smith
T:
 
Bob Baffert
Age: 4
Weight: 9-0
OR: N/A

The second renewal of the $20 million Saudi Cup takes place this weekend and with the race attracting some top class horses we have previewed the contest with a big selection.

With many stars taking trying to land the most expensive dirt race in the world we have looked into the field and the American runner for trainer Bob Baffert takes the eye.

Charlatan was an expensive purchase as a foal being bought for $700,000 and the colt has lived up to his price tag so far in his career with some superb performances.

In March 2020 the four year old made his debut and got off to a winning start by close to 11 lengths at Santa Anita over a mile.

He was then entered into his first Grade One event in May and although winning the event was unfortunately disqualified.

Having his first run since May, he came back in December to land the Grade One Malibu Stakes over seven furlongs at Santa Anita.

Although he is stepping up in trip in this event he should take to it well and he is drawn perfectly to come from off the pace.

DateCourseDistanceTypeWeightPosition
26/12/20SNA7Fs8-81
02/05/20OAK9Fs8-6DSQ
14/03/20SNA8Fs8-81
Riyadh - February 20 2021
Riyadh 17:40
14(7)
William Buick

Tacitus

J:
 
William Buick
T:
 
William Mott
Age: 5
Weight: 9-0
OR: N/A

With 15 runners set to head to post we have also picked out an each way selection and at a double figure price the William Mott trained Tacitus could outrun his odds.

The American five year old has performed to a high standard in America during his career, especially of late when being in and around the frame in some of the most expensive races in the world.

Back in July the Juddmonte Farms owned horse won a Grade Two over 1m2f by close to nine lengths on the dirt and backed that up when second behind the smart Global Campaign in a Grade One at Saratoga.

Staying at 10 furlongs, the five year old went to Belmont Park and was a close third in the Grade One Gold Cup stakes.

The Breeders Cup Classic at Keeneland was his last outing in November and although finishing fourth, it was not far behind the winner and that form looks solid heading into this event.

He drops in trip slightly which could play to his strengths and at 12/1 is worth an each way punt.

DateCourseDistanceTypeWeightPosition
20/02/21JAN9Fs9-07
07/11/20KEE10Fs9-04
10/10/20BLM10Fs9-03
05/09/20SAR10Fs8-122
04/07/20BLM10Fs8-101

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