Saudi Arabian owner Khalid bin Mishref has bought into Dubai World Cup Sponsored by Emirates Airline (G1) runner-up Gronkowski.
Faisal Alatawi caught up with Khalid and talked about his latest purchase.
When did you first get interested in Gronkowski?
“When he finished second to Justify in the Belmont Stakes. I really liked the horse, and began thinking about if it would be possible to buy into him, and maybe even own 50% of him. I am a good friend of Amer Aziz so it was an easy decision for me. I trust him as an International owner who is very successful at the moment in the Sport of Kings.”
When did you decide to participate in the Saudi Cup, the inaugural one actually?
“Since day one when they made the announcement that the world’s richest race would be in Saudi. I have been in the market since 2017 buying globally, including Europe and the United States. Before that I was an owner and breeder a long time but only locally. My goal is G1 horses and races like the Saudi Cup and I’m pretty sure nothing can stop me. “
How do you see the Saudi Cup now in the inaugural running and in the future?
” It’s going to be incredible for my country. Saudi Arabia having the richest race in the world is amazing. This is something we have wanted for a long time. I am planning on supporting the whole program and will run multiple horses on the undercard. I am not strictly focused on only the main race.”
Gronkowski will be trained in Dubai by Salem bin Ghadayer. A fever prevented him from running in the first leg of the Triple Crown, the Kentucky Derby and connections changed their focus to the Belmont Stakes Presented by NYRA Bets (G1). That is where he ran second to Justify and caught bin Mishref’s attention. In late March, Gronkowski was beaten a nose by Thunder Snow in the Dubai World Cup, in what is probably his best performance to date. After that, the Phoenix team nominated him to the Saudi Cup as it charts a path that includes the Meydan showpiece and the Pegasus World Cup Invitational Stakes (G1) at Gulfstream Park.