Baker's new 'dude' Graignes ready for Saudi debut

French recruit on his travels again this week.

  • Tuesday 25 February
  • News
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Trainer George Baker is excited about running his new recruit Graignes in Saudi Arabia.

Bought for 600,000 euros in October, Graignes has yet to run for his new connections.

He was last seen finishing a creditable fifth to One Master in the Prix de la Foret over seven furlongs, but Baker fears the slightly unusual trip of the stc 1351 Cup could catch him out at the new track in Riyadh on Saturday.

“It’s his first run for us – he was bought at the Arc sale before the big race in France,” Baker told Sky Sports Racing.

“He had top-class form last year. He was fifth in the Foret at the Arc meeting, and that was his last race.

“It’s a great thrill to have a horse rated as high as he is, 110. He might be one of the lesser lights in the race, but when you get invited to run in a $1m race you go.”

Graignes has taken the journey to the Middle East well, and Baker will follow him later this week.

“I’m not there yet, I’m flying Thursday,” said the Surrey trainer.

“But the horse went over on Friday with Patrick (Murphy), my assistant, and he’s apparently settled in beautifully.

“It’s a six-and-three-quarter-furlong race, and we have a sense that might just be on the sharp side. But $1m races don’t come along that often, and I’m delighted to be part of what will be a massive day.

“The good ones tend to travel well, and this is a dude of a horse.

“He didn’t turn a hair on the flight over. He reminds us very much of Belgian Bill, who took us all over the world. Pat Cosgrave will ride him.”

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