14 February 2024

Spirit Dancer confirmed for Neom Turf Cup bid in Saudi

14 February 2024

Sir Alex Ferguson will have the chance to secure further international honours after Richard Fahey confirmed his Spirit Dancer is on course for the Neom Turf Cup in Saudi Arabia later this month.

The former Manchester United manager was no stranger to glory overseas during his time in the dugout and alongside co-owners Peter Done and Ged Mason saw Spirit Dancer collect £500,000 when victorious in the Bahrain International Trophy in November.

The seven-year-old has since tuned up for his outing in Riyadh by finishing fourth in the Jebel Hatta at Meydan and Fahey is confident that will put him spot on for the $2million event on February 24.

“I was delighted to get that run in Dubai into him,” said Fahey.

“We were pleased with the run and we were probably just drawn a little bit wide – hopefully the run will put him 100 per cent right for Saudi.

“We’re going to run in the Neom. I was keen to go for the big one there (Saudi Cup), but I just felt nine furlongs on the dirt would be sharp enough for him. He’s a horse I would probably want to go a mile and a half in Saudi rather than a sharp nine, if that makes sense.”

Spirit Dancer’s owners revelled in their Bahrain success before Christmas, with Ferguson describing it as his “best ever” victory as an owner.

All of the son of Frankel’s ownership trio appear keen on another visit to the Middle East, with Fahey predicting a strong showing from his charge in the extended 10-furlong turf contest.

“Barring problems I’m sure his owners are very keen,” continued Fahey.

“Peter Done and Ged Mason are both very keen and Sir Alex is keen as well, so it looks like they are booking and barring problems I would say they will probably be there.

“We certainly enjoyed Bahrain and anything now is a bonus, but we’re expecting him to run a big race in Saudi.”

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