Sisfahan Heads to Saudi Cup Meeting

Sisfahan | Emma Berry

Germany's champion trainer Henk Grewe will keep hold of his 2021 G1 Deutsches Derby winner Sisfahan (Fr) (Isfahan {Ger}), who will remain in training at five and is set to be aimed at the $2.5 million G3 Red Sea Turf Cup H. on the Saudi Cup card on February 25.

“It was the plan to run him there last year, but he got injured, so it was disappointing to miss the race,” said Holger Faust, racing manager to Darius Racing, who own Sisfahan with Michael Motschmann.

“We've been thinking about it all year and I'm glad he's come back at the right time this year, so he's ready for the race.”

Having been sidelined since the Breeders' Cup Turf of 2021, the four-year-old returned in the G1 Preis von Europa in September, and went on to win G2 Gran Premio Jockey Club at San Siro a month later before finishing third in the G2 Premio Federico Tesio in mid-November. 

“He had a fracture and an operation in January and for a horse to come back in September is quite early,” Faust explained. “We didn't really have a race for him, but we decided to bring him back in a Group 1 because it was on his home track. He finished last in that race, but we were all fine with that and with his performance.

“We were quite confident for the race in Italy. He won that race and it was brilliant to see him coming back like this.”

Faust feels that the 3,000-metre Red Sea Turf Cup will be within his capabilities. 

He added, “When jockeys ride him, they say he's hard to stop after his races, so he's got this attitude and he looks like a real stayer.

“The races in the spring in Germany, they are not really attractive for a Group 1 winner. Even though the Red Sea Turf is a Group 3 race, it has a high value and it makes sense to run a Group 1 horse in those kind of races.

“We thought this way we can give him a pause and then bring him back to European races when the Grand Prix season starts, which in Germany is at the end of July.

“The Saudi Cup meeting perfectly suits him now, being at the end of February, and if he performs in Saudi Arabia, it's possible for him to run on the big day in Dubai as well. Then if everything works out and the horse is sound, he gets a nice break before we see him again.”

British-based Jack Mitchell has ridden Sisfahan in his last three starts and is expected to be back on board in Riyadh.


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