In the days leading up to the $20 million Saudi Cup at King Abdulaziz Racetrack in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia on Feb. 20, usracing.com will profile the contenders in the world’s richest horse race. The profiles will be updated with odds, post positions and jockeys following the post-position draw on Wednesday [Feb. 17].
By Lynne Snierson
Bred in Britain, Military Law comes into the Saudi Cup on the heels of bang-up 1 ¼-length win in Round 1 of the Grade 2 Al Maktoum Challenge Series at Meydan Racecourse in Dubai on Jan. 21. With the victory he lived up to the promise he displayed last year when runner-up in both Rounds 2 and 3 of that series.
The impressive come-from-behind performance with a determined late drive by the son of Dubawi, who was making his first start since March 2020, was the clincher that propelled him into this race. He is the leader of the sizeable and forceful contingent of Dubai-based runners entered on the eight-race card.
“I have been riding him every day since last year. He always gave me a strong feeling. He was running well last season but this year he is stronger and looking better,” said jockey Antonio Fresu, who has been aboard for all of his last five races in Dubai and gets the return call.
Military Law is another in the line of former British-trained turf horses who have found a home on dirt tracks since switching surfaces from the grass and all-weather tracks. Previously owned by breeder Qatar Racing, he ran his first six races in England for trainer John Gosden, who has entered Global Giant and Mishriff in the Saudi Cup.
Post position: TBD
Trainer: Musabbeh Al Mheiri
Jockey: Antonio Fresu
Owner: Nasir Askar
Age: 6 (gelding)
Career record: 11-5-3-0
Career earnings: $430,626
Top Equibase speed figure: N/A
Pedigree: Dubawi-Marine Bleue, by Desert Prince
Running style: Stalker
Notes: Had an easy canter in Dubai before the short ship to Riyadh on Feb. 16 and his trainer said that for the rest of this week, he will ease the horse into the race … Original owner Qatar Bloodstock entered Military Law in Book 1 of the Tattersalls October 2016 sale but retained him to race when he did not meet his reserve price of $1,213,475 … After his June 2019 win over the all-weather track at Newcastle, his second victory in six efforts in England, he was sold for $114,641 to his current owner, who dispatched him to Dubai. Subsequently, he was won three times in five tries at Meydan.
Lynne Snierson, a former director of communications at Arlington Park and Rockingham Park, currently is a freelance writer and racing publicist. She covered thoroughbred racing as an award-winning sportswriter for newspapers In Boston, Miami, and St. Louis. She lives in New Hampshire. Secretariat remains her all-time favorite horse.