Ado McGuinness is excited at the prospect of running Harry’s Bar in the Saudi Arabian Airlines Riyadh Dirt Sprint next week.
The trainer bought the six-year-old gelding for 75,000 guineas at Tattersalls Horses In Training Sales in October – and less than four months later he will be racing for a prize worth $1,500,000 over six furlongs in the Middle East.
So far, Harry’s Bar has been a revelation since his move from James Fanshawe’s Newmarket stables, winning both his starts for the County Dublin handler at Dundalk.
“He’s in great form. He’s come back 100 per cent from his last race, he’s cantering away and he’s heading out to Saudi on Sunday morning,” said McGuinness.
“They tell me it’s the closest dirt track to an all-weather surface probably in the world. He’s an all-weather specialist so hopefully he’ll act on it.”
McGuinness felt his head was on the block when he ran Harry’s Bar shortly after buying him at the sales.
“We’ve only run him twice and the first day when he won the Listed race if he had got beat and finished down the field I’d have been called all sorts, because he’d only come out of the sales and run a few days later,” he said.
“We gambled and it worked. He’s a very good horse and is enjoying life here.
“His win at Dundalk last week was a very good performance.
“The handicapper put his turf rating up 3lb after that and left his all-weather mark alone. I couldn’t understand that.
“If he goes back to the grass I think he’ll be a nice horse for the Wokingham.”
Salstonstall is set to join his stablemate in Saudi Arabia for a conditions race worth $1m after he runs at Dundalk on Friday.
McGuinness’ stable stalwart faces just four rivals when he has his first race for 88 days in the Hollywoodbets Horse Racing And Sports Betting Race.
“He’s heading for Saudi as well all being well,” he went on.
“He’s in really good form after his break. I’m looking forward to getting him out and about.
“It’s not going to be easy in Saudi, but I think he’ll run a big race there.
Not too far away in Qatar, another McGuinness inmate, Bowerman, will fly the flag in a local Group Two at Doha over a mile.
“Bowerman goes to Doha next week for mile Group Two on the grass on the Friday night. We’d have gone for the bigger race there, only the handicapper dropped him,” he said.