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2021 Saudi Cup Workouts

Pink Kamehameha (Saudi Derby), Global Giant (Saudi Cup), and Mishriff (Saudi Cup) on the track Wednesday morning.
Date: 2/17/2021

On Wednesday morning in Riyadh, entrants for the second running of the $20 million Saudi Cup and its rich undercard were at King Abdulaziz Racetrack on the main track. Conditions were typical for mid February, with clear skies and temperatures in the high 60's during training. The races will be run Saturday evening (Saturday morning in North America), with the Saudi Cup going to post at 8:40pm local time (12:40pm ET). In North America the full card will be broadcast live on TVG in the USA and HPI in Canada, as well as on FOX Sports 1 from 8am-1pm ET. The Saudi Cup will be contested at 1800 meters (about 1 1/8 miles) around one turn of the 1 1/4 mile main track.

Here are photos and comments for 29 horses that were out Wednesday morning. Please click the smaller photos to see a larger version.

Bangkok (Saudi Cup) ships in from England off his win in the Betway Winter Derby over the all-weather at Lingfield on February 6. Anna Lisa Balding, assistant to husband and trainer Andrew said, "He didn't do anything really smart today, the plan is that he will do something a bit quicker on Thursday. He went round the dirt and he seemed to enjoy it, he will wear special plates on Saturday, it should not be an excuse."
Chuwa Wizard (Saudi Cup) worked 6 furlongs on dirt under exercise rider Keita Tosaki. Trainer Ryuji Okubo said, "He moved beautifully this morning. I told the jockey to start cantering slowly from the 1200m pole and then pick up gradually before driving him strongly for the last stage of the stretch. I think he is in really good form. There will be some horses who are going fast in the field, so between middle and outside draw will be preferred."
Extra Elusive (Saudi Cup) went out on the main track Wednesday. Andre Alencar, assistant to trainer Roger Charlton said, "He's very relaxed; probably the change of scene has made him more relaxed than usual, and he's coping very well and he's on the right path. He won't go back out on to the main dirt track again now, he'll just stay on the training track."
Global Giant (Saudi Cup) galloped on the main track. Thady Godsen, assistant to father John said, "He went over to Bahrain and ran very well there. The race didn't quite go to plan as he broke a little but slowly and was finishing well late on but wasn't quite able to peg back the leader. He's in good form too. He had a little break over the winter but seems very well in himself."

Knicks Go (Saudi Cup) jogged once around clockwise on the outside under assistant trainer Dustin Dugas. Trainer Brad Cox said, "He's continued since the Pegasus to show us what he showed us prior to the Pegasus and prior to the Breeders' Cup. This race is back a little quick, but one thing that gives us confidence is that he won the Pegasus without Lasix and this race is without Lasix, too. Another thing is this is five weeks from the Pegasus and it was five weeks between his allowance win where he broke the track record at Keeneland and the Breeders' Cup. He had a little bit of a freshening of a couple easy weeks after the Breeders' Cup and before the Pegasus, so this is sort of a second race off a layoff for him. Hopefully, after the race, he gives us confidence that he can travel internationally and compete."

Mishriff (Saudi Cup) galloped on the main track. Thady Godsen, assistant to father John said, "He knows his way around here a bit and he handles the dirt well. It's a brilliant track here obviously Mishriff is a turf horse but he handles it well. It's wonderful for Prince Faisal to have a runner in The Saudi Cup. He puts a huge amount into the sport and takes a lot of time over his horses and cares about them deeply."

Simsir (Saudi Cup) galloped once around. Trainer Fawzi Nass said, "He did his big work in Bahrain on Sunday. All he and my other horses need to do is just 'tick over' and today they cantered about six and a half furlongs. It's their first time on the big track and one or two of them were a bit fresh, which is understandable on a new track, but hopefully they'll be more settled tomorrow. Simsir is doing very well."

Sleepy Eyes Todd (Saudi Cup) came onto the dirt track on Wednesday morning where he stood for about 10 minutes before warming up. Trainer Miguel Angel Silva said, "He always does that. He comes onto the track and first has a look. He then galloped for two rounds. He went a bit faster the second time round. He is fit and good."

Call the Wind (Red Sea Turf Handicap) came onto the dirt track for the first time this year on Wednesday morning. Sebastien Lagrange, who travelled with Call The Wind from France, watched him stretch his legs and said: He trotted over 1600 metres to warm up and then he cantered once round and went a little faster to finish. We want to keep him fresh.
Prince of Arran (Red Sea Turf Handicap) worked 6 furlongs on the main track. Trainer Charlie Fellowes said, "Aled (Bleech, assistant trainer) said Prince Of Arran had a nice blow walking home but cleared pretty quickly, which has really put him about spot-on now for his race on Saturday. He s taken the trip well, as youd expect from a horse with as much travelling experience as hes got. Hes been eating and drinking well and moving good, and his temperature has been pretty much spot-on since he landed. So it looks like everything so far has gone smoothly, which is great."

New Show (Red Sea Turf Handicap) a late addition to the field, saw the dirt track for the first time on Wednesday morning. Trained by Fawzi Nass, the 6-year-old gelded son of New Approach is owned by Bahrain-based Victorious and exits a big victory back home. "I always thought he would stay further than a mile and a half, which is the maximum hes been in Bahrain," Nass said. "Hes always looked like a horse who would stay and is in very good form right now. He won the Crown Prince Cup in Bahrain three weeks ago, so were happy with where he is and think he can compete. Were obviously very happy he was able to get into the race."

Mirinaque (Red Sea Turf Handicap) cantered "an easy couple of laps" on the dirt track on Wednesday morning and "looked good" according to his trainer Maria Munoz. The 5-year-old grey will go back to the turf on Thursday morning where he is expected to "go a little faster" as his preparations continue for Saturdays race over the marathon distance of 3000m. When asked how her charge was doing, she said: "10 out of 10."

Spanish Mission (Red Sea Turf Handicap) had a gentle move around the dirt track and there is optimism around the Andrew Balding camp. "He might go for a spin on the grass on Thursday," said Andrew Baldings wife and assistant trainer Anna Lisa. "Were really excited to be here with him, hes in good form and should run really well."

Red Verdon (Red Sea Turf Handicap) completed a routine canter on the dirt track with rider Burns Hutchison and will be ridden by jockey Hollie Doyle on the turf on Thursday morning. Trainer Ed Dunlop said via telephone from Newmarket: "He had a little break and then came back with a prep run at Lingfield (on 6 February). He hasnt been away properly since Australia, when he was sadly unable to run in the Melbourne Cup, but he loves going abroad and won a Group 2 in France last year. Im expecting him to come on from his Lingfield run but Im under no illusions, this is a very strong, competitive race."

Tilsit (Neom Turf Cup) cantered on the dirt track with Henry Morshead, who said: "It was the first time he had been on the dirt but he moved well. He was having a good look as there were more horses around but I was very happy with him. He might just quicken up a bit tomorrow in the straight on the grass."

Albadri (Saudi Derby) cantered on the main track. Trainer Jane Chapple-Hyam said, "He travelled really well; he lost 5kg, so I'm very pleased with that, and he's eating and drinking as normal. He went for his first canter this morning out on the track and was a little bit fresh, so that was good to see, but it was just a steady canter. Nikita (Milczarek, work rider) was very pleased; she said he felt good underfoot."

Homeryan (Saudi Derby) galloped on the main track for the first time after clearing quarantine.

New Treasure (Saudi Derby) galloped on the main track. Thady Godsen, assistant to father John said, "He's an interesting horse who has been doing well at home and hopefully he will run well. They all just had a sensible canter round and they will probably do the same every day now they are here."

Pink Kamehameha (Saudi Derby) galloped twice around under jockey Nanako Fujita. Trainer Hideyuki Mori said, "Pink Kamehameha is a very easy horse to handle," the trainer said. "He is in good form and all has gone well so far at the moment."

Brad the Brief (Riyadh Dirt Sprint) gets jockey Hollie Doyle in the irons from post 7 for trainer Tom Dascombe. He will be saddlecloth #1.

Justin (Riyadh Dirt Sprint) breezed 4f on the dirt track under jockey Ryusei Sakai, who said: He was a bit keen before he started his work on the track but is getting settled in. Actually he was more edgy at home and I wanted to sharpen him up towards the race, so I drove him a bit strongly towards the end of the gallop. As for the surface of the track, my impression is it looks more sandy and lighter than the surface of the track in Japan. I think Justin has no issue and will handle it. I hope to have a luck with the draw as I do not want to be trapped after the start but he will handle any type of race."

Oxted (Riyadh Dirt Sprint) worked 6f on the dirt track ridden by assistant trainer Harry Teal. "We just let him have a nice stretch forward this morning," said trainer Roger Teal."I thought he looked really good and Harry said he felt great on the surface. He came round the bend nicely - we kicked up a gear on the bend and he handled that alright. He went six (furlongs) and Harry built it up as he went along. He quickened into the bend and let him freewheel around the turn and then for the last furlong let him have a good stride out. We were very happy with that."

Deryan (Obaiya Arabian Classic) wears the #1 saddletowel but will break from the 11 post. Ioritz Mendizabal rides for trainer Didier Guillemin.

Fettah Du Loup (Obaiya Arabian Classic) drew the far outside post 13 for trainer Sulaiman Salim Alghunaimi. Harry Bentley rides the #2 horse on Saturday.

Hajres (Obaiya Arabian Classic) represents Tunisia for trainer Mme J-F Bernard. Cristian Demuro gets the call from post 10 aboard the #3 horse.

Jarif (Obaiya Arabian Classic), stablemate of Hajres in the Bernard barn, will break from post 4 with Olivier Peslier in the irons. He is the #4 horse.

Mashhur Al Khalediah (Obaiya Arabian Classic) cantered and then breezed for a short distance on the dirt track. Trainer Phil Collington said: "Im very pleased with him. This morning we went out to the training track and jogged a lap, then cantered a lap just to loosen him up, then walked to the dirt track and started from about the 1600m pole. We just cantered down the back and then lifted a little bit into the straight and let him breeze the last 400m, just to open his lungs and let him have a nice blow. He recovered quickly, and he had a nice long walk and a pick of grass. Hes very well."

What a Welcome (International Handicap) drew the rail for Friday's Handicap event. Adrie de Vries getst he call aboard the #2 horse for trainer Fawzi Nass.

Desert Lion (International Handicap), stablemate of What a Welcome in the Nass barn, drew post 4 and will have jockey Paddy Mathers in the irons.

The grandstand at King Abdulaziz Racetrack in Riyadh.

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