26 February 2022 – The Silk Racing Co Ltd-owned Authority (JPN) was the form horse in the US $1.5m Neom Turf Cup presented by Jahez, and he did not disappoint. Ridden confidently by Japan’s champion jockey Christophe Lemaire, he went to the lead the moment the gates opened and was never threatened, winning the 2100m race by a length and a quarter.
Behind him, the locally-trained Kaspar (GER), who is owned by Yousef Mohammed A Alturaif and trained by Mohammed Alhirabi, produced a great run under Ricardo Ferreira to finish second, while the Aga Khan-owned, French-trained filly Ebaiyra (USA) fought hard to hold on to third place.
However, the Group 3 The Neom Turf Cup was all about the Tetsuya Kimura-trained Authority, who had travelled to Saudi Arabia on the back of a second place in the Group 1 Japan Cup. A son of champion racehorse Orfevre out of Rosalind (by Symboli Kris S), the final time for his first victory outside Japan was 2:06.72.
Christophe Lemaire, jockey, Authority (JPN), 1st: “I had the best horse in the race. I set the pace the way I wanted, without any pressure. Then he used his long acceleration and did the same he used to do in Japan.
“He was very comfortable and at the end his strength made the difference. I knew he could stay the trip very well. The ground is firm, which we wanted. The plan was to go to the front and it worked out. I knew he would be very relaxed. At about 2000m I let him go; he did very well.
“The Japan Cup is one of the best races in the world; my horse was beaten by a Triple Crown horse in Contrail. The level in Japan is very high so it gave me a lot of confidence running second that day.”
Tetsuya Kimura, trainer, Authority, 1st: “It is my first time having a runner outside Japan since I have been licensed, and to win a race like this is unbelievable. It was a great ride from Christophe Lemaire from the front. It is the highlight of my career. We started thinking about this race when he finished second in the Japan Cup. He likes racing left-handed, so that was one of the reasons for coming here. All going well, he will go to Dubai next month for the Sheema Classic. I would like to thank the Jockey Club of Saudi Arabia for giving us the opportunity to come here.”
Ricardo Ferreira, jockey, Kaspar, 2nd: “This is a short distance for this horse. He needs a longer distance but I stayed behind and took my time and he finished very strongly. This is only his second run in Saudi Arabia.”
Christophe Soumillon, jockey, Ebyaira, 3rd: “When I came into the straight I saw Christophe [Lemaire] was in front and that he was going to win the race – he was four lengths clear. We went a decent pace; his horse is a good horse. I came to finish second in the straight but in the last 50m the other horse just took second place. She fought hard and it was a great run from her.”
Remaining jockey quotes:
Frankie Dettori, jockey, Harrovian, 4th: “I had a bad draw. The best horse won, no matter what. If I had a better draw, I would have finished second. I just got pipped the last few metres for second. You’re going wide and giving so much ground away. It is what it is and you can’t buy your draw. The turf course is lovely and they have it in really good shape.”
Tom Marquand, jockey, Grocer Jack, 5th: “He’s run super. The ground might have been a bit sharp, the same for the track as well, but he’s not run for a long time, he’s run very well.”
Jim Crowley, jockey, Flying Visit, 6th: “I had a great position throughout the race but we just weren’t good enough today, unfortunately.”
Pat Cosgrave, jockey, Passion And Glory, 8th: “I had a lovely trip around and followed Ryan [Moore on Solid Stone]. He was getting away from us halfway around the turn. When I got at him, he didn’t go anywhere. It was a tough race and we had a lovely trip around, he just took it too strong the first three or four [furlongs]. If I had had a nicer run, maybe I would have finished fifth or sixth.”
Martin Dwyer, jockey, Pyledriver, 11th: “The draw hammered me – my only hope was there was so much pace in the race on paper and I hoped it would give me a chance to get inside, but it didn’t, they went slow and I was trapped deep with no cover. I had no petrol left but it was no fault of the horse. We live to fight another day.”
Saudi Cup Press Release
Photo: Authority (Jockey Club of Saudi Arabia)