Yahagi: “I believe we had the horse racing Gods with us”

February 23, 2024

Feature video relives The Saudi Cup 2023 with Panthalassa’s winning trainer

The Saudi Cup Release

Legendary Japanese trainer Yoshito Yahagi looks back on the emotion of Panthalassa’s win in the 2023 The Saudi Cup, in what was a first triumph for Japan in the world’s most valuable horse race.

Speaking about his feelings during the prelims to last year’s 1800m Group 1 contest, Yahagi said: “It was refreshing and I didn’t feel any pressure.”

However, Yahagi wasn’t convinced a rails draw in stall one was the place to be: “Since I got the number one barrier in the draw, I was worried that it would be difficult unless they had a good start and he could outrun the others.

“I was relieved when they managed to dash at the start. America didn’t do as well as I was expecting so I was thinking Geoglyph can keep up his pace.”

Watching on, Yahagi experienced a mix of emotions in a race that produced a nail-biting conclusion.

“He looked like he was having a good time to me, but I was a little worried as I was not sure about his pace.

“I thought it will be a great race when they got to the straight section. Geoglyph slowed at the last 150 metres and also Country Grammer didn’t put us at ease until the end.”

The feeling when Panthalassa crossed the line in front Yahagi describes as “like a dream”.

“I am sure my racing groom, Mr. Ikeda, was feeling the same, especially as it happened at the end of his career.”

“I believe that we had the horse racing Gods with us,” Yahagi said.

Tickets for The Saudi Cup weekend are on sale now: https://jcsa.sa/en/events/

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