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Sir Alex Ferguson, Mason and Done Are Saudi Arabia-Bound To Watch Spirit Dancer

Updated: Feb 18



[Saudi Cup Official Release] Richard Fahey will saddle his first runner in Saudi Arabia as Spirit Dancer, co-owned by Manchester United legend, Sir Alex Ferguson, prepares to line up in the $2 million G2 Howden Neom Turf Cup on Saudi Cup night, February 24th.


The talented seven-year-old won the G2 Bahrain International Trophy in November, earning himself an automatic spot in The Saudi Cup line-up, but Fahey already had his eyes focused on a trip to Riyadh with the striking son of Frankel – who was recently fourth in the Jebel Hatta in Dubai.


Fahey said: “He qualified when he won in Bahrain but this race was in my mind beforehand. I did think about the Saudi Cup itself but I just thought it (1800 metres) would be sharp enough for him tackling the dirt. I think if we were to tailor make a race for him, then this would be it.


“It’s a $2 million race, so it’s not going to be given away, but I’m not terrified [by the opposition] – I will be on the day, but at the moment I’m not.


“I was pleased to get the run into him in Dubai the other day and I’m just hoping the five weeks over there in Dubai will have helped him acclimatise. I believe he’s been training very well and the team are very happy, so I think we are where we need to be with him. Oisin Orr is going over to ride.”


Spirit Dancer is co-owned by legendary former Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson, along with Fred Done and Ged Mason, and Fahey confirmed that the trio are set to make the trip to Saudi.


“The horse arrives on the 20th and I’ll be there the next day. It looks like the three lads are all going to be there to watch and they really appreciate what Spirit Dancer has achieved. They’re all very kind and took half the yard out for dinner after Spirit Dancer won in Bahrain.”


Fahey also gave some insight into what it’s like training for sporting great, Ferguson.


“It’s been interesting for me to train for someone who’s been at the top of his sport, and sometimes he says things that I pick up, which amaze me,” he said.


“There are occasions too where Sir Alex will understand what I’m saying in the horse world that he can compare with his knowledge of football.


“He’s an extremely intelligent man and a genius in his profession, so I’m always a little bit timid of saying things too strongly, but there’s not too much I have to explain. He’s been in our industry for years and knows that there can be good days and bad days, footballers can perform one day and not the next for no reason, and horses can do the same.”


This will be Fahey’s first runner in Saudi Arabia and the Yorkshire-based trainer is excited to be making the trip and getting a feeling for a county which continues to make waves in international horse racing.


“I’ve never actually been to Saudi,” he added. “It’s a place that has been impressing me the last three or four years, they’re really getting to grips with things, investing a lot and putting up a lot of prize money.


“It’s the up-and-coming racing nation, with the prize money to back it up. I believe the track there is exceptional and I’m looking forward to seeing it. We do sell a lot of horses out there, so I’m interested to see the set up too.”


(18/2/2024)

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