Prince Khalid Abdullah has won many of the world’s biggest horse races.
And on Saturday, Snow Sky will strive to land a first Melbourne spring carnival win for the Saudi prince’s Juddmonte Farms international racing operation in the $3 million Caulfield Cup.
“The Caulfield Cup is one of the world’s great races and that’s what Juddmonte is in business to do, to try to win the big races,” the prince’s racing manager Lord Teddy Grimthorpe said.
“So it would be very important indeed.”
The most famous horse to carry the Juddmonte colours was the champion Frankel who won all his 14 races before he retired to stud after the 2012 Champion Stakes at Ascot.
Grimthorpe cast his eyes over Hardwicke Stakes winner Snow Sky on Friday morning at the Werribee quarantine centre after the horse completed light exercise.
He said the Sir Michael Stoute-trained Snow Sky had importantly had a trouble-free lead-in to Saturday’s big race.
A Melbourne spring carnival mission for Snow Sky was first discussed last December when the horse travelled to Hong Kong where he was unplaced in the International Vase (2400m).
The Melbourne mission became a reality as this year went on and Snow Sky has been given equal topweight for both the Caulfield and Melbourne Cups.
“If you ever travel a horse you want to make sure he’s up for the business and you think he’s going to give you a great shot,” Grimthorpe said.
“Prince Khalid likes to be competitive so therefore from that point of view we’ve had to get the right horse at the right time, with everything going right leading up to it.
“From that point of view, that’s one of the main reasons why we’ve come. He’s ticked all the boxes.”
Snow Sky was an impressive winner in the Hardwicke Stakes (2414m) at Royal Ascot in June but was unplaced on soft ground at his most recent start in the Group One King George and Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2414m).
Snow Sky will have four-time Caulfield Cup winning jockey Damien Oliver aboard from barrier three, and Grimthorpe said reports from stable staff had been positive about the well-performed horse’s preparation.
“He travelled really well, he had a good trip over here and thrived afterwards,” he said.
“…he seems in good form and he’s put on weight and looks pretty relaxed to me. So that’s fantastic.”
Snow Sky is at $10 for the Caulfield Cup with Mongolian Khan the $4.50 favourite in the capacity field.
After doing the form on the plane to Melbourne, Grimthorpe admits the race “bats pretty deep” but he rates Snow Sky a winning chance.
“We don’t come for fun,” he said.
“No-one does, but we think he’s got a good shot.”