“She Has A Huge Chance” – Matilda Picotte Bids For Big-Race Saudi Riches

Matilda Picotte | Focus On Racing

Trainer Kieran Cotter says that he is optimistic his stable star Matilda Picotte (Ire), a filly he has continuously turned down big-money offers for, will put her best foot forward in the valuable Group 2 Saudi National Bank 1351 Turf Sprint on February 24.

The daughter of Sioux Nation developed into a high-class three-year-old last season, finishing third in the G1 1,000 Guineas at Newmarket before landing the G3 Sceptre S. and G2 Challenge S. in the autumn.

The 1351 Turf Sprint will be the filly's first start of the new campaign and the trainer says he couldn't be happier with her ahead of the valuable contest.

Cotter said, “She obviously had a busy three-year-old season, so we've given her a nice break over the winter so far, but she's 100 per cent tuned up for this. You can't turn up to a race like this and only be 95 per cent. What she has done for us is immeasurable to be honest. To say you've been involved in a superstar, which she is to us, is very special.

“She's brought us to a place that we could never have dreamed of going, it's mind-boggling. As for the race, I think she has a huge chance. With the greatest respect about all the well-regarded challengers in the race, our filly couldn't give a hoot about them! It's great to know that we've got a horse who will be giving 100 per cent and you can't ask for much more than that.”

Matilda Picotte caught the eye of the racing world last season, not least some big owners, and Cotter revealed he's fortunate to still have the horse in his care.

“There are around 10 who own shares in Matilda, which is lucky, as if it was just one there was probably enough money on the table from prospective buyers for them to be tempted,” he said.

“We've been offered some serious, serious [sums of] money for her, so full credit to the owners who are sticking with her and rolling the dice. The prize-money in Saudi is obviously a big draw, so hopefully we can get some of it.”

Three-time champion Flat jockey Oisin Murphy is two-from-two on the filly and is set to be in the saddle once again.

“Oisin has been fantastic with her and he can't wait to get back on board again, so he'll definitely be travelling over for the ride,” added the trainer.

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