A jubilant Jim Crowley guides Mostahdaf across the wire in the Neom Turf Cup (Jockey Club of Saudi Arabia/Erika Rasmussen)
Saudi Cup Press Release
RIYADH, Saudi Arabia— Jim Crowley was smiling all the way to the line after the Shadwell Estate Company Ltd bred and owned Mostahdaf (IRE) produced an electric turn of foot that saw him surge clear from his opponents to secure victory in the G3 Neom Turf Cup presented by Altanfeethi.
Relishing the faster conditions at King Abdulaziz Racecourse, he flew right away towards the winning post, leaving Dubai Future (GB) seven lengths behind him, with another five and three-quarter lengths further back to Flying Visit (IRE) in third.
It was a first victory for the former British Champion Jockey at the meeting while the Gosden stable, now a joint-licence arrangement between John and his son Thady, had sent Mishriff to win The Saudi Cup in 2021.
Eagle’s Flight (IRE) had set the pace in this 2100m race but Crowley immediately positioned the five-year-old son of Frankel behind the leader and once he left the final bend, he kicked clear to win the race in 2:06.24.
Jim Crowley, jockey, Mostahdaf, 1st: “We had got a lovely trip around there and it was game over turning in. He loves fast ground and we knew he’d stay.
“Everything went according to plan, we just wanted to sit where he was comfortable and he took me into the race.
“From a mile-and-a-quarter to a mile-and-a-half on fast ground he can be very good. John and Thady wouldn’t have run him in the Arc if they didn’t think he was a very good horse. Hopefully he can keep progressing.”
Thady Gosden, joint-trainer, Mostahdaf: “We are thrilled to win the race. He was given a patient ride by Jim and we were lucky with the draw to be in barrier four. It was a little messy in behind him but thankfully we stayed out of all of that.
“His last race was obviously the Arc, but prior to that was in the September Stakes against useful horses and he quickened up quite well that day on a sounder surface. He’s a versatile horse who is pretty comfortable in terms of trip. We’ll talk to the owners and see if we take him to Dubai next month.
“We have been bringing horses here since the inaugural running of The Saudi Cup and it’s great to be back and to see the development here every year. There is a great atmosphere here and everyone seems to be enjoying themselves.”
Danny Tudhope, jockey, Dubai Future, 2nd: “He’s run a blinder, I am very happy with that. I had a nice position inside the winner and while he got away on us, we got second with a fair bit to spare. I have a nice record on this horse and he’s run a fine race again for me today.”
Ricardo Ferreira, jockey, Flying Visit, 3rd: “We had no luck at the start but he finished off very well and it’s very good for a local horse to place in a race as strong as this.”
Oisin Murphy, jockey, Missed The Cut, fourth: “He had a wide trip – jockey error. It’s a shame, he tried.”
George Boughey, trainer, Missed The Cut: “Oisin had a split-second decision to make whether to go forward or back and through no fault of anyone’s, he’s probably ended up having to go further than the others. But that’s racing. He’s probably run fractionally below his best form but he’ll be back. There are a lot of options for him, we’ll just see how he is tomorrow.”