Elite Performance From Dettori And Mott In Riyadh Dirt Sprint
25 February 2023
25 February 2023 – Elite Power (USA) ran out a dominant winner of the G3 Riyadh Dirt Sprint presented by Sports Boulevard to give star jockey Frankie Dettori the victory he craved at The Saudi Cup meeting.
The quality the Juddmonte-owned, Bill Mott-trained five-year-old had displayed when lifting the Breeders’ Cup Sprint late last year was manifest again as he put away a strong field by three-and-a-quarter lengths from another American runner Gunite (USA).
The Japanese challenger Remake (JPN) finished two lengths further back in third. Last year’s champion Dancing Prince (JPN) finished fifth. The winning time was 1:11.01.
As a contest for first place, this race was settled with 200m remaining as Dettori unleashed a lethal turn of foot from Elite Power, who had been settled in midfield through the initial stages.
Dettori had just been denied in a thrilling climax to the previous race, the Saudi Derby presented by Boutique Group, on another American runner, Havnameltdown, but he could cruise to victory at his leisure on this occasion. It is fair to say that the five-year-old son of Curlin was operating a different level far superior to his rivals.
Frankie Dettori, jockey, Elite Power, 1st: "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.
"He’s a very laid-back horse and only does what you ask him to do but wow he has some turn of foot.
"The Abdullah family has given so much to the sport; the legacy keeps going. I love these colours and it’s nice to give the locals something to cheer about."
Neil Poznansky, assistant to trainer Bill Mott, Elite Power: “He’s a big strong animal. He shows nothing but class. He shipped over here like he was here his whole life. He’s a good horse, a very good horse. His turn of foot is incredible, he’s just incredible to watch, a magnificent animal.
"He’s really coming into himself and getting better as he was really slow to mature. Now he’s putting it all together. Bill doesn’t come here without reason but bringing a horse like Elite Power is a good reason to come. For Frankie and Juddmonte it was like a whole dynasty thing."
Scott Blasi, assistant trainer, Gunite, 2nd: "We are very proud of him. We got beat by an Eclipse Winner. I still think we have a very nice sprinter and after this, we will talk to Steve [Asmussen] and see what’s coming next. Dubai is on the radar. He had maybe a little [traffic], but when Tyler asked him, he fired. Tyler said, ‘he was really there for me, but [Elite Power] was flying,’ so hats off to the winner."
Yuichi Fukunaga, jockey, Remake, 3rd: "The pace was as fast as I expected and I was in a good spot, watching the winner in front of me. My horse showed a great turn of speed but the winner was just too strong.
Damian Lane, jockey, Dancing Prince, 5th: "It’s disappointing, he didn’t break that well, I travelled comfortably the first half of the race and never came home."
The Saudi Cup 2023 Resource Space is now open: https://jcsa.resourcespace.com/?c=631003&k=5379140ea9