Saturday, 20 February, 2021
Pink Kamehameha (JPN) ensured that both Japan and trainer Hideyuki Mori retained the US $1.5 million Saudi Derby sponsored by Al Rajhi Bank with a three-quarters of a length victory over Cowan (USA). The trainer had struck in last year’s inaugural renewal with Full Flat.
Away alertly from post eight in the 12-horse line up, the Japanese-bred son of Leontes, representing jockey Keita Tosaki and owner Hisako Kimura, stalked the pace set by Soft Whisper (IRE), who had the early advantage under Mike Smith. Tosaki never let the leader get too far in front and put that rival away turning into the straight.
The American invader Cowan rallied late between horses to finish second under Joel Rosario for trainer Steve Asmussen, a length clear of third-place finisher New Treasure (IRE) with Frankie Dettori aboard for British trainer John Gosden.
Keita Tosaki, jockey, Pink Kamehameha, 1st: "It was my first ride on him today but he produced a fantastic run even on his first time race over the dirt surface. As he has no issues with the starting gate, he jumped quickly from the gate today. He responded to me well and had a comfortable trip all the way."
Hideyuki Mori, trainer, Pink Kamehameha: "Everything went perfect today. He showed a very good response to the jockey at the final turn, which was kind of surprising to me. He ran on dirt for the first time, but today's surface with a bit of rain affected track must suit him a lot."
Joel Rosario, jockey, Cowan, 2nd: “He missed the break. Right when they opened the gate his head was turned, so he lost the break, but he came running. They went very fast up front and he almost got there. It was a good run from him.”
Frankie Dettori, jockey, New Treasure, 3rd: "He ran okay. He hit a flat spot on the turn but he stayed on well."
Thady Gosden, assistant trainer, New Treasure: "He ran a huge race there. He got a little bit outpaced early on but he kept on well. The Japanese horse is clearly really good and got loose on the lead on the bit but (New Treasure) stayed on well. He has run really well and everyone is really proud of him."
Ted Voute, racing manager to New Treasure’s owner Prince Faisal bin Khaled: “He’s been invited to the UAE Derby so we’ll see what everyone thinks about that."
Rest of jockey quotes
William Buick, Rebels Romance, 4th: "Really good run, he’s stepped up on his last run in Meydan and considering it was only the fourth run of his life, you have to be pleased."
Mike Smith, Soft Whisper, 5th: "I’m kind of lost for words, I thought she’d finish but it didn’t happen."
Mickael Barzalona on Meshakel, 10th: "I was never in the race. Normally, he takes me into the race, but today it wasn't happening."
Cristian Demuro, Homeryan, 11th: "I was going well, but these races are very different to the races we have in France. They went fast and he was a little outpaced when we came into the final bend."