Dubai: Six-year-old Japanese horse Panthalassa, ridden by Yutaka Yoshida and trained by Yoshito Yahagi, clinched the $20 million Saudi Cup, edging out Country Grammer by three-fourth of a length at the at King Abdulaziz Racecourse in Riyadh on Saturday.
Ridden by Italian jockey Frankie Dettori, Country Grammer’s second-place again left Bob Baffert with another runner-up finish, eluding the famed trainer a win in the race. The race also brings the glorious career in Saudi Arabia for Dettori, who is on a farewell tour after announcing his retirement at the end of this year.
Another horse with Japanese connection, Café Pharoah, ridden by Joao Moreira, completed the top three while Baffert’s another runner Taiba finished a distant eight in the race for four-year-olds and over, run over a 1,8000-metre distance on dirt.
Elite Power (USA) ran out a dominant winner of the G3 Riyadh Dirt Sprint to give star jockey Dettori the victory he craved at The Saudi Cup meeting.
"My first word has to be aeroplane. I was a little out of reach and asked him to get a little closer and then the turbo just kicked in and I was a passenger then,” the Italian said.
Fans in Riyadh were treated to an absolute thriller in the G3 Saudi Derby as locally trained Commissioner King (USA) wore down American raider Havnameltdown (USA) in the final strides.
The 1600m event developed into an equine prize fight, with Dettori and Havnameltdown and Luis Morales and Commissioner King taking it right to the final bell.