Saudi Cup, Southwell and COVID-19
With no racing in the UK for now it seems an age ago that I was in Riyadh for the inaugural running of the $20 million Saudi Cup at King Abdulaziz Racetrack. What a fantastic few days it was with some of the worlds best horses competing for world record prize money. The internationals were made to feel very welcome and I am sure that this is a fixture that will grow year on year.
It was nothing short of remarkable what Prince Bandar, Harry Herbert and his team have achieved to stage one of the biggest racing fixtures in the calendar year.
I will be making it my aim to try and find horses to travel to Saudi Arabia in the coming years as I am sure the racing calendar will develop. The October Horses In Training Sale 2020 at Tattersalls looks the perfect opportunity.
From Riyadh to Southwell! I was very keen to support the Ladies only riders day at Southwell on Sunday 8th March and was delighted to provide ANTONIA PECK with another winner aboard THREE C’S. It was a good chance for Antonia to showcase her talent and she certainly did not look out of place seeing off Hayley Turner and Brodie Hampson in the final furlong.
COTTON CLUB ran another gallant race in second behind the very well handicapped OLEG ridden by Megan Nicholls.
LUA DE MEL was unfortunate to find just one too good at Lingfield under JAMES DOYLE, she was fast away from the gate and James has to resort to “Plan B” making her own running. She was run down late by the Mark Johnston trained ALMQVIST who looks a progressive colt by Kingman.
LUA DE MEL was our last runner before the “LOCKDOWN” capping off a fantastic start to the year on the All Weather with 6 winners from 17 runners at 35% (4 seconds and 2 thirds).
It has been a tough time for all in recent weeks and I would like to take the time to thank the support from my staff and owners. Without them we would not be able to keep the show on the road. We have maintained the same daily routine and the horses appear to be in fantastic form.
My aim is to have as many of the yard one or two pieces of work away from a run for when racing resumes. The two year olds are progressing as each week passes. Like most trainers we had a couple who would probably have made their debuts by now, it is our job to keep them on the boil for when we return.
Check “Horses for Sale” for info on some two year olds with shares still available!