Frankie Dettori is “super excited” to be riding Gronkowski in both the Saudi Cup and the Dubai World Cup.
Second in the Dubai race to Thunder Snow last year, the five-year-old has only run twice since then, both times at Meydan.
Runner-up to Justify in the Belmont Stakes as a three-year-old, the son of Lonhro finished third in December and was no match for Benbatl last time out, but Dettori is not too concerned about his recent form and thinks he will be especially suited to the track in Riyadh on February 29.
“It’s an amazing ride to get,” said Dettori.
“I’m excited to ride him for two reasons. First, he doesn’t have to travel that far from Dubai and I think the track will suit him. It’s probably the best dirt track I’ve ridden anywhere in my life.
“It’s got the longest straight; he’ll relish that and is the type of horse that will enjoy the Riyadh track.
“He had his final prep run the other day and when you see the bare form you might think he’s not run so well. But I spoke with his trainer, Salem bin Ghadayer, and he said it was just a stepping stone for the big day and that he that he wanted me to ride the horse in both races, so I’m super excited.
“He likes the dirt, he’s rated 120 so he’s no slouch and he doesn’t have many miles on the clock. I’ve been very lucky for Phoenix Thoroughbreds so let’s hope the luck continues.”