Spirit Dancer powers home to give Ferguson victory in Neom Turf Cup

Spirit Dancer landed another huge prize for part-owner Sir Alex Ferguson when flying home to take the Howden Neom Turf Cup at the Saudi Cup meeting.

Trained by Richard Fahey and co-owned by Ferguson, Ged Mason and Fred Done, the Frankel gelding is the usual ride of jockey Oisin Orr.

The pair travelled out to Bahrain last year to tackle the Group Two Bahrain International Trophy and after succeeding there, they set their sights on the Neom Turf Cup after first visiting Meydan in January.

Another Group Two event, the Neom Turf Cup had attracted a deep field that included Aidan O’Brien’s Luxembourg, Andrew Balding’s The Foxes and John and Thady Gosden’s Jack Darcy.

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The latter cut out the running early on and was closely followed by Luxembourg, who was given a positive ride by Ryan Moore and looked the winner in the home straight.

With two furlongs left to travel it was Spirit Dancer who was going best of all, however, cruising down the centre of the track to sweep to an impressive and valuable victory.

Ferguson also bred the horse alongside Niall McLoughlin and said of the performance: “It was fantastic. After the triumph in Bahrain and coming to this level and looking at the field – the performance from Oisin and the horse was unbelievable. Absolutely unbelievable.

“Richard has made the point a few times that the horse hasn’t had a lot of racing, he has been trying to step it up and I think you’ve seen the evidence today.

“Oisin said to me that the horse is improving all the time and the evidence is there. I’m delighted.”

Mason, who owns several other horses over both Flat and National Hunt codes, added: “It still feels like a dream, I have to pinch myself.

“He finished like a steam engine and Alex said ‘He’s a Frankel, remember that’. I’m delighted, it’s absolutely brilliant.

“That was a class act of entries there, that performance was extra special.

“If he doesn’t mind me saying, Alex had a dream this morning and he dreamed that we won!”

Fahey, who has trained the seven-year-old to win eight times now, added: “I’d say it’ll be very hard not to send him to Dubai, we’ll see how he is and make a decision but I’d be a little bit shocked if he doesn’t line up in something on World Cup night.

“I’ve always wanted to stretch him out to a mile and a half, but the horse hasn’t stopped blowing yet, so let him blow and we’ll work it out!

“Any horse that can win on the international scene like this, they become the people’s horse and he’s heading that way.

“He’s got a huge fan base, he’s a progressive horse that’s heading the right way.

“He gets his head down and gallops all the way to the line, people who are involved in horse racing love to see horses do that.”

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