Report: The Saudi Cup on dirt may be next for Magic Wand

January 27, 2020 02:11pm
The globetrotting mare Magic Wand may break more new ground next month coming off a runner-up finish in Saturday's Pegasus World Cup Turf (G1).

Trainer Aidan O'Brien told Europe's Racing Post on Monday that the 5-year-old Galileo mare is a candidate for the $20 million Saudi Cup on dirt, with the inaugural running on Feb. 29 at King Abdulaziz Racetrack.

"Magic Wand ran another good race in America and seems fine since," O'Brien told Racing Post. "She's due to come home this evening.

"It's very possible that she'll be heading to Saudi Arabia next month. We're thinking about running her on the dirt. It'd be something new for her, so we'll see she comes out of her last run between now and then."

Magic Wand didn't figure to set the pace in the 1 3/16-mile Pegasus but assumed that role before Zulu Alpha stormed by to her inside, going away to a two-length win. The lone female in the field just held off Instilled Regard for the runner-up spot.

Coolmore's Magic Wand is plenty used to taking on the boys having won a Group 1 race last fall in Australia. She also ran second to Bricks and Mortar in the inaugural Pegasus World Cup Turf.

Should she go on the main track, her anticipated rivals in the 1 1/8-mile Saudi Cup include top American runners such as Maximum Security, McKinzie, Midnight Bisou, another 5-year-old mare -- but one recently named the Eclipse Award-winning Older Dirt Female. The Pegasus World Cup (G1) winner on dirt, Mucho Gusto, also earned his invitation Saturday.

In addition to the trips already mentioned, Magic Wand has run in Hong Kong, Dubai and Europe during a career in which all but one of her last 16 starts came at the Grade/Group 1 level.

Nick Esler, an International Racing Bureau representative working with horsemen on their Saudi Cup plans, told Horse Racing Nation that race officials were meeting Monday to update their preference list and confirm which connections plan to make the trip. A news release is expected later this week with an updated look at the Saudi Cup field and lucrative undercard.

2020 Saudi Cup

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