Horse Racing
Saudi Cup - Form Comments

23/02/2024 15:14

G1 – 1800m – Dirt


Carmel Road

Formerly US-trained, staking his claim on this prize with a hugely impressive runaway 7.5l winning verdict in what had looked a competitive 20-runner 1600m event here last month.


Crown Pride

Couldn’t sustain his challenge late on but still only beaten 2.5l in this last year. Completely outclassed his rivals at Seoul in September, but a modest show back in Japan last time is a concern.



Amongst his seven US wins were two G1’s – including at this trip. Now locally trained and having his first start for new connections, and to be partnered by Luis Saez for the first time.


Derma Sotogake

A mighty contender from Japan with a formidable record when travelling as he showed when routing his rivals at Meydan last March, and only finding White Abarrio 1L too strong in the Breeders’ Cup Classic.


Hoist The Gold

Some stamina worries but he was not stopping late on when easily winning a 1600m G2 at Aqueduct in December.  John Velasquez is likely to push him forward early.



Smart when based in the US and looks even better since moving to the UAE, with stylish G2 dirt wins over 1600m at Meydan on his last two starts. Has lots of gate speed, but needs the stamina now for 1800m.


Lemon Pop

Earnt the title of the best dirt horse in Japan last year, the most recent success of this brilliant and reliable horse being a powerful front-running G1 victory over this trip at Chukyo in last December. Chance.


Meisho Hario



National Treasure

His first G1 victory came in the prestigious Preakness Stakes at Pimlico, rallying bravely after leading. Gained another G1 also under aggressive ride at Gulfstream Park last month. A formidable opponent.


Power In Numbers

According to ratings his winning prospects are not good here. But he’s won his last three starts here, outbattling Scotland Yard in a thrilling finish over this trip most recently.


Saudi Crown

Florent Geroux’s mount arrives here fresh off a convincing 5.8L victory in a 1700m G3 at the Fair Grounds. He had also won a G1 at Parx last September, leading throughout.


Senor Buscador

Surged from the back to almost win a hugely valuable G1 over this trip at Gulfstream Park last month, only just held by the much more positively ridden National Treasure. Rivals again here.


Ushba Tesoro

Finished 2023 by winning the Tokyo Daishoten (2000m G1) in Oi that he had also bagged in 2022. Had surged from the back to win the Dubai World Cup in last March. Wants a sizzling pace to bring his stamina into play.


White Abarrio

His 2023 improvement was confirmed in style when he won the G1 Breeders’ Cup Classic at Santa Anita, holding off today’s rival Derma Sotogake – with other rivals here further behind – in a thrilling finish. This has been the target ever since.


Scotland Yard

Struggled in this race in 2023, finishing last of 13. Just beaten by rival here Power In Numbers in an exciting finish here recently, but much stronger opposition for this huge prize.