Khalid Abdullah has owned some of the world’s most famous horses but will get personal satisfaction if Tacitus can win the inaugural Saudi Cup.
A member of the Saudi royal family, Abdullah is recognised globally as one of the most prominent owner/breeders in the sport through his Juddmonte Farms operation.
Thoroughbred greats such as Dancing Brave, Enable and Frankel have all worn his famous colours – but for obvious reasons, winning the world’s most valuable race in his home country on Saturday would be a special success.
Trained by Bill Mott, Tacitus is without a win since April but was placed in many of America’s major three-year-old races last season, including the Kentucky Derby and Belmont Stakes.
“I think, basically, from as soon as this race was devised, Prince Khalid had his eye on it – from day one,” Abdullah’s racing manager Teddy Grimthorpe said.
“It clearly would mean a lot to him, but it is a seriously important race in its own right.”
Tacitus has encouraging credentials.
“We’ve always thought a good deal of him, and the way he set off last year in the Tampa Bay Derby and the Wood (Memorial) he looked booked for a good season,” Grimthorpe said.
“He ran very consistently in the Kentucky Derby, the Belmont and the Travers.”
Tacitus has drawn barrier two of 14.
One of the other features is the $2.5 million Turf Cup (3000m) with 2018 Melbourne Cup winner Cross Counter to start from barrier one for Godolphin.
Dual Melbourne Cup placegetter Prince Of Arran has drawn alongside Cross Counter.