‘His Weapon Is His Speed’: Cox Pleased With Knicks Go Ahead Of Trip To Saudi Arabia

Pegasus World Cup winner Knicks Go has been reported in great form ahead of his attempt to add the $20 million Saudi Cup to his big-race haul.

The 5-year-old guaranteed his place in the world’s most valuable race when landing the Pegasus at Gulfstream Park last month. He had previously won the Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile in November.

His trainer Brad Cox was pleased with what he saw when Knicks Go completed his last breeze before travelling to Saudi Arabi ahead of the two-day Saudi Cup meeting on Feb. 19 and 20.

Cox revealed: “Knicks Go breezed very well on Saturday and he looked good on Sunday morning. I was very pleased with the work and, more importantly, how he looked after the work.

“Everything is going in the right direction. He’s carrying his weight well and I’m happy with the way he’s moving.

“The great horses like him are what you wake up for every morning. He’s a fantastic horse and hopefully an international horse after Feb. 20.”

Knicks Go, owned by the Korea Racing Authority, galloped his rivals into the dirt in the Pegasus. He made all the running having started in his usual lightning-fast manner before pulling clear under Joel Rosario, who will again be on board in The Saudi Cup.

Cox admitted the impressive two-and-a-half length defeat of Jesus’ Team, who was also runner-up in the Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile, was not unexpected.

He said: “Going into the Pegasus he gave us a lot of confidence with the way he was training. We had the confidence he would perform well and he did – we were proud of the effort and he bounced out of it in good order.

“He proved in the Pegasus he can get 1800m (1 1/8 miles) at Grade 1 level against some very, very good horses so now we have to transfer that to a one-turn 1800m in Saudi. We’re looking forward to the challenge and the opportunity.

“He’s got a lot of speed and he can carry that speed over a mile or further. We’re not going to take away anything that comes easy to him. His weapon is his speed but once the gate opens that’s Joel’s decision of where to place him, but you’d have to think he’ll be in a very forward position in the race.”

Knicks Go will have to travel more than 7,000 miles to Saudi Arabia but Cox has no worries about his star coping with the journey or the course at the King Abdulaziz Racetrack in Riyadh.

He said: “It’s the first time we’ve run a horse on the other side of the world so there’s always a little bit of a concern, but I don’t really feel it will be with him.

“He’s got a great mind on him and he ships well. He obviously shipped to Gulfstream in good order and he doesn’t get worked up – he knows when to shut it off and when to turn it on. He’s got a lot of class so I really don’t think it will be something that affects him at all.

“I’ve heard from a couple of horsemen that the track in Saudi has a great surface – very good to race on, so I’m excited about it.”

The magnitude of having one of the leading contenders for the world’s most valuable race is not lost on Cox.

He added: “It’s huge. It’s something you dream about. It’s only the second year of The Saudi Cup’s existence but it’s already captured the eyes of the entire racing world.

“It would be a tremendous accomplishment if we were able to win the race. It’s an accomplishment in itself to have a horse that’s capable of qualifying for it.”

The post ‘His Weapon Is His Speed’: Cox Pleased With Knicks Go Ahead Of Trip To Saudi Arabia appeared first on Horse Racing News | Paulick Report.

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