Oxted Camp Mull Saudi Cup Options

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Oxted | Racingfotos.com

Group 1 winner Oxted (GB) (Mayson {GB}) could contest one of the races on the Feb. 20 $20-million Saudi Cup card. Under consideration for the 2020 G1 July Cup victor is a $1.5-million six-furlong race on the King Abdulaziz Racecourse's main track and the 1351 Turf Sprint. Oxted has never raced over a dirt surface.

“The obvious one for us would be the Turf Sprint which is run over about six and three-quarter furlongs,” said trainer Roger Teal. “I suppose his ideal trip would be six, but he has won over seven in the past so it shouldn't be a problem. We will also have a look at the Riyadh Dirt Sprint too which is run over six as we know he goes so well over that distance.

“I've heard really good things about the quality of the dirt surface–I spoke to James Doyle who was very complimentary about it. Also, in the back of my mind I know that he is trained on the all-weather at home and he is a speedy horse that normally holds a prominent position, so the kick-back should be less of a concern.”

The 4-year-old ended his campaign with a fifth in the G1 QIPCO British Champions Sprint S. on Oct. 17. He has recently returned from a four-week holiday.

“He came back in on Monday [last week] after a short break just to freshen him up a bit,” added Teal. “I guess it was about four weeks or so to give him some time to chill out after a busy season. He was out in the field during the day and came back in at night. It seems to have done him the world of good and we now start our preparations for a potential trip to Riyadh in February. We will wind him up slowly and gradually step up his exercise routine.”

After Oxted's run on British Champions Day, the Dec. 13 Longines Hong Kong International Races were judged to be held too late in the season for the Mayson gelding.

Said Teal, “The Saudi Cup meeting sits perfectly in the calendar for him as we build towards another season in the UK. We had the option of going to Hong Kong, but that meeting just came too late in the season for us. Targeting the Saudi Cup sprints allowed us to give the horse a break then bring him back. We'd love to go there and take our chance.”

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