Victory for Tacitus in the inaugural Saudi Cup would be of huge personal satisfaction to owner Khalid Abdullah.
A member of the Saudi royal family, Abdullah is recognised globally as one of the most prominent owner/breeders in the sport through his Juddmonte Farms operation.
Thoroughbred greats such as Dancing Brave, Enable and Frankel have all worn his famous colours – but for obvious reasons, winning the world’s most valuable race in his home country on Saturday would be a special success.
Trained by Bill Mott, Tacitus is without a win since April but was placed in many of America’s major three-year-old races last season, such as the Kentucky Derby and Belmont Stakes.
“I think, basically, from as soon as this race was devised, Prince Khalid had his eye on it – from day one!” said Abdullah’s racing manager Teddy Grimthorpe.
“It clearly would mean a lot to him, but it is a seriously important race in its own right.”
Tacitus has encouraging credentials.
Grimthorpe added: “We’ve always thought a good deal of him, and the way he set off last year in the Tampa Bay Derby and the Wood (Memorial) he looked booked for a good season.
“He ran very consistently in the Kentucky Derby, the Belmont and the Travers.
“Obviously he’s had six months off, he’s apparently travelled very well there, but it will be a big ask for him.
“His regular rider Jose Ortiz has an injury, so Jose Lezcano will ride.”