Saudi Cup Post Positions: Charlatan Drawn ‘Just Perfect’ Near Outside, Knicks Go ‘Right In The Middle’

The post positions have been drawn for Saturday’s second running of the $20 million Saudi Cup in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. To be contested over a one-turn 1 1/8 mile course on the dirt track, the Saudi Cup drew a field of 14 including a featured American-trained match-up between Grade 1 winners Knicks Go and Charlatan.

Knicks Go, winner of the Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile and Pegasus World Cup in his last two outings, drew post five for trainer Brad Cox. The Korea Racing Authority-owned colt will be ridden by Joel Rosario.

“We like it, it’s right in the middle,” said Dustin Dugas, assistant trainer. “He’s a speed horse, it’s a long way till they get to the turn, Joel (Rosario, jockey) will have a lot of ground to work at before he gets to the turn.”

Charlatan, last-out winner of the G1 Malibu over seven furlongs, draw further to the outside in post nine for trainer Bob Baffert. He will be piloted by jockey Mike Smith.

“I spoke to Bob (Baffert, trainer) earlier and he said anything, six, seven, eight or nine would be perfect,” said assistant Jimmy Barnes. “The one turn mile and an eighth would just be perfect.”

Three other American interests in the race include: Max Player (Post 4, Steve Asmussen), Tacitus (Post 7, Bill Mott), and Sleepy Eyes Todd (Post 8, Miguel Angel Silva).

The full field is as follows:

  1. Chuwa Wizard
  2. Bangkok
  3. Great Scot
  4. Max Player
  5. Knicks Go
  6. Global Giant
  7. Tacitus
  8. Sleepy Eyes Todd
  9. Charlatan
  10. Military Law
  11. Simsir
  12. Mishriff
  13. Derevo
  14. Extra Elusive

Comments from other entrants’ connections:

Bangkok (IRE) – (Drawn 2) – Anna Lisa Balding, assistant trainer: “It will be difficult but we’ll do as well as we can.”

Chuwa Wizard (JPN) – (1) – Keita Tosaki, jockey: “He is a versatile horse and can run from any position. So the inside draw may help us.”

Derevo (GB) – (13) – See Great Scot

Extra Elusive (GB) – (14) – Roger Charlton, trainer: “I’m happy with the draw for Extra Elusive in stall 14. He hasn’t run on the dirt before, and he’s probably a horse who doesn’t like to be crowded that much, so I think that gives him and Hollie (Doyle, jockey) a good shot down the outside. I’d certainly prefer stall 14 to stalls one or two or three, so so far we’re happy and we’re going to give it our best shot on Saturday.”

Global Giant (GB) – (6) – Isa Salman Al Khalifa of owner Al Adiyat Racing: “It definitely would be amazing. He has been improving with every start but he would have to run the race of his life to be competitive. It is an honor to be involved. The two winners for Bahrain at last year’s Saudi Cup was the highlight of my racing life so far.”

Great Scot (GB) – (3) – Abdullah Mushrif, trainer: “Very happy. More happy with Great Scot from 13. It will be hard for Derevo but inshallah we will win, it’s my dream.”

Max Player (USA) – (4) – Steve Asmussen, trainer: “Would have preferred the outside.”

Military Law (GB) – (10) – Musabbeh Al Mheiri, trainer: “Not too bad. In three, four or five would be good, but 10 is not bad. He can’t go too fast anyway (early). When you have luck, God gives it to you.”

Mishriff (IRE) – (12) – Thady Gosden, assistant trainer: “We were hoping for a fairly wide draw. The American horses have far more gate speed than ours, so we’re very happy with that.”

Simsir (IRE) – (11) – Fawzi Nass, trainer: “It’s post 11. It’s OK. I’ll let Adrie (de Vries, jockey) deal with it.”

Sleepy Eyes Todd (USA) – (8) – Miguel Angel Silva, trainer: “I wanted to be more outside, but it’s great. It’s not perfect but it’s great. We are next to Charlatan, so that is good. We are very excited. We didn’t want to be inside so this is good, we are more to the outside.”

Tacitus (USA) – (7) – Neil Poznansky, assistant trainer: “He has Johnny V (Velazquez) on him and the whole backside to work a trip on him.”

The post Saudi Cup Post Positions: Charlatan Drawn ‘Just Perfect’ Near Outside, Knicks Go ‘Right In The Middle’ appeared first on Horse Racing News | Paulick Report.

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