By Ed McNamara
In the days leading up to the $12 million Dubai World Cup at Meydan Racecourse in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, on March 27, usracing.com will profile the contenders in the 2,000-meter (about 1 1.4-miles) race. The profiles will be updated with odds, post positions and jockeys following the post-position draw scheduled for Wednesday (March 24).
He didn’t come close to winning, but this 5-year-old gelding picked the right time to run the race of his life. By finishing third, 7 1/2 lengths behind upset winner Mishriff, Great Scot collected $2 million Feb. 20 in the world’s richest race, the $20 million Saudi Cup. In less than two minutes, he made almost 10 times as much as he did in his first 15 starts.
The 99-1 shot shocked handicappers by finishing a length ahead of fourth-place Knicks Go, winner of last year’s Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile and the Eclipse Award for older male. Not what you would expect from a horse who sold for just 2,500 pounds (about $3,500) as a yearling.
Saudi Arabian trainer Abdullah Mishrif has done a remarkable job transforming a Group 3 turf winner into a solid dirt horse. Great Scot was 3-for-11 in England before being sold so he could run in last year’s Saudi Cup. He finished 12th behind Maximum Security in his main-track debut but rebounded with three consecutive victories after a long layoff.
Handicapping insight: He paid $27.60 to show, a lot more than most winners, in the Saudi Cup. Can he run big going a furlong farther on an unfamiliar surface? This field has no one with the credentials of Mishriff and runner-up Charlatan, but Great Scot’s morning-line odds won’t be 50-1 this time. If you’re among the few who cashed on him, hats off to you, and maybe you should invest some of the profits in an across-the-board play. I won’t be wagering on Great Scot, but I respect him far more than I did last time.
Post position: TBD
Trainer: Abdullah Mishrif
Jockey: Adel Alfouraidi
Owner: Prince Faisal bin Khaled bin Abdulaziz
Career record: 16-7-1-2
Career earnings: $2,280,036
Best Equibase speed rating: N/A
Pedigree: Requinto-La Rosiere, by Mr Greeley
Running style: Stalker/closer
Notes: After last year’s Saudi Cup, Mishrif gave Great Scot eight months off before bringing him back in an allowance race, which he won at King Abdulaziz Racecourse in Riyadh. Six weeks later, he won another allowance, then prepped for this year’s Saudi Cup by taking a Saudi Group 1 … He won a Group 3 on grass in England on Sept. 7, 2019, a few days before being bought by Prince Faisal and shipped to the Middle East.