emblem road was a hugely popular but shock winner for the home side in the $20m Saudi Cup in Riyadh.
Trained locally by Mitab Almulawah and ridden by Wigberto ‘Wiggy’ Ramos, Emblem Road is a prolific winner in his homeland, but was expected to take on top performers from America, Japan and Europe.
Sent on their way to 80-1, Emblem Road was only seventh down the straight when it looked like the huge prize money was sure to be heading to America.
by Bob Baffert country grammar and the formation of Steve Asmussen Midnight Bourbon looked set to battle for a famous finish with Making Miracles, who won the 2019 Chester Cup for Mark Johnston, just behind them.
However, Emblem Road – a steady companion to Making Miracles – was starting to shift into high gear in the center of the track.
Even with half a yard to go and with Emblem Road still a length away, the outcome started to look inevitable and the home crowd started going wild.
Winning runner Wigberto Ramos chats with Tom Stanley in memorable post-race scenes in Riyadh
Ramos started his celebrations as he crossed the line and he looked as stunned as the rest. Country Grammer finished second with Midnight Bourbon third.
There were some big disappointments, including last year’s winner Mishriff for John and Thady Gosden, Brad Cox Mandaloon and the Japanese star To Keynes.
Lemaire pockets a brilliant quadrilateral
Christophe Lemaire dominated the Saudi Cup night with four winners, all for different Japanese coaches.
He started by dominating the Neom Turf Cup on Authority, trained by Tetsuya Kimura.
Pyledriver was the big hope for Europe, but after being ruled out he couldn’t do better than 11th.
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The Japan Cup finalist ended the race in a way.
Lemaire said: “I could set the pace the way I wanted without any pressure and then he used his long acceleration. He did the same in Japan. His strength made the difference.
“I knew he could very well stay the trip. The ground is firm and drawn two I knew it would be very relaxed on the 2100 meters.
“The Japan Cup is one of the best races in the world and he was beaten by a very good horse (Contrail).”
The winner now heads to the Dubai Sheema Classic.
Song then won the 1351 Turf Sprit for Toru Hayashi, battling valiantly to see Bill Mott’s Casa Creed with Richard Hannon’s Happy Romance in third.
Lemaire scored a hat trick on a night famous for the runner and Japan as Stay Foolish galloped their rivals into the ground in the Red Sea Turf Handicap.
Again using cutting-edge tactics aboard Yoshito Yahagi’s racer, Lemaire led the one-mile-seven furlong contest with Irish raider Princess Zoe, one of the few to keep an eye on him throughout the early days. steps with Nayef Road.
They both paid off for those efforts as they quickly gave up, leaving Siskany, trained by Charlie Appleby, who seemed to travel well, to take on the only real challenge.
When Lemaire asked for a little more, Stay Foolish stretched out again and he had no trouble holding the finishing touch from Sonnyboyliston, trained by Johnny Murtagh.
Lemaire said, “I thought Authority and Stay Foolish would be my best rides. I was very confident with Authority because he had the best credentials.
“Then Stay Foolish, I rode him two years ago but I rode him on Wednesday morning on the track here in Riyadh and he gave me a good impression so I could see he was in very good condition. state. I thought he could be a good challenger.
“It’s fantastic because it’s great for jockeys and trainers to be part of these international meetings. It’s always very exciting and a great challenge. If you’re lucky enough to win a race, you’re the happiest man alive.
“Everyone has to party!” – Assistant coach Hisham Abdulwahed hails Saudi Arabian Cup win with Emblem Road
Lemaire racked up a remarkable quadruple for Japanese-trained riders in victory over Dancing Prince in the Riyadh Dirt Sprint.
The six-year-old, from Keisuke Miyata’s stable, burst into the straight to forcefully win ahead of Good Effort, trained at Newmarket by Ismail Mohammed.
Lemaire said: “Incredible. I don’t realize it at the moment, but it’s real.
“He’s a bit under pressure and coming into the gate I was a bit worried because it took a while at the start. Luckily he jumped well, I was able to take the lead, reduce the pace and then the let go.
American raider Pinehurst strikes for Baffert
Bob Baffert’s Pinehurst walked every yard of the race to win the Saudi Derby in Riyadh.
After smartly escaping the stalls – as is the case with the majority of US-educated riders – Pinehurst soon found himself in box position under Flavien Prat.
He was able to dictate at his own pace for most of the race, although Consigliere and Prince Souverain were always close at hand.
Briefly, Pinehurst looked in a difficult place, but he dug deep to keep finding.
He had to hang on in the last 100 meters when Japanese challenger Sekifu sprang up, having been far behind on the straight, but the finishing post came just in time for Pinehurst.
Baffert’s assistant, Jimmy Barnes, said: “We came in with a serious horse and he seemed to handle everything well.
“He took care of the ship, the paddock, the preliminaries and the gate. He left the door open so we couldn’t be happier.
“I didn’t know if he would hold up. It’s a tighter track and luckily he had enough heart and stamina to hold off the Japanese horse.
“The plans were probably to go ahead for the UAE Derby as long as it came out of the race well.”
Prat said: “I thought his last race was a good setup for this race. He showed he was a good horse today. It’s just a question of how much he can improve, so we’ll see.