King’s Cup victory caps a remarkable season for Isle Of Jura

King’s Cup victory caps a remarkable season for Isle Of Jura
Trainer George Scott and jockey Callum Shepherd with their trophies following the win of Isle Of Jura in the King’s Cup.
Trainer George Scott hails win and campaign the highlight of his career. Godolphin’s Real World bounces back to form in Al Methaq Mile.

A plan first hatched in Newmarket in July of last year came to glorious fruition in Bahrain today as Isle Of Jura completed a remarkable winter campaign with an authoritative victory in the $200,000 King’s Cup (Listed).

The King’s Cup, run in honour of His Majesty King Hamad Bin Isa Al Khalifa, King of the Kingdom of Bahrain, and sponsored by Bapco Energies, was Isle Of Jura’s fourth and most valuable victory of his campaign in Bahrain. Running in the colours of Victorious Racing for HH Shaikh Nasser Bin Hamad Al Khalifa, for trainer George Scott and jockey Callum Shepherd, Isle Of Jura won the Listed 2400m race by 2 ¼ lengths from Sovereign Spirit in second and Panning For Gold in third.

Afterwards an emotional George Scott said of Isle Of Jura’s win in the King’s Cup: “This ranks as the highlight of my career to date, miles ahead of anything else. It’s unbelievable. The King’s Cup is the pinnacle of racing here in Bahrain. What a wonderful horse, he really is a trier.”

Jockey Callum Shepherd has developed an excellent partnership with Isle Of Jura and he added: “What a magic winter this horse has given us and for it to culminate in this race is huge. He’s had to overcome adversity here, being virtually knocked over on the first bend. I’m enormously grateful to His Highness Shaikh Nasser, I am so pleased we could do this for him. It was his ambition to win the three races, the ‘triple crown’, and it takes some doing.

“I’d also like to give enormous credit to Rosie Jessop who’s ridden him every day out here and the girls who have looked after him. They have carried out and implemented George’s plans to the letter and they have been faultless in doing so.”

Isle Of Jura flies back to the United Kingdom to George Scott’s Newmarket yard on Saturday. He will then have a rest before being prepared for a European campaign in pattern races.

Rosie Jessop, who has been Isle Of Jura’s work rider throughout his three month stay in Bahrain, said: “I am going to miss him dearly. He’s been the life and soul of my season this year. I’m just so happy and he’s made it a magical time for us.”

Reflecting on the outcome of the King’s Cup and the end of season Ed Veale, Director of Racing and International Relations for the Bahrain Turf Club, said: “What a fitting finale to what has been a memorable season. Our congratulations go to His Highness Shaikh Nasser, trainer George Scott and jockey Callum Shepherd following Isle Of Jura’s impressive victory in the King’s Cup.

“Today’s race had all the ingredients which have helped make this season such a success. High quality international competition taking on the best of the locally based horses and with improving horses using the race programme in Bahrain to graduate through the ranks.

“Isle of Jura has been the stand-out horse of our season. He came to Bahrain on a mark of 97 back in December but you could tell there was a lot of scope for improvement and I know how highly George Scott regarded him. George and I had actually started speaking about the horse back in July and he knew the route that he wanted to take and he’s gone and done it, which is a tremendous feat.

“He won his first Bahrain Turf Series race, then His Royal Highness the Crown Prince’s Cup and His Highness Shaikh Nasser’s Cup, and to cap off a remarkable campaign, he has won His Majesty the King’s Cup, worth $200,000.

“We’re very grateful that George put his trust in the Club to send the horse here for the winter and explore our programme. He’s a great example of a horse who can come here for the Bahrain Turf Series and then graduate to valuable conditions races.”

Although out of luck with their three runners in the King’s Cup, earlier on the card there was a winner for Godolphin when the talented Real World recorded his first victory in over two years. Ridden positively by Kevin Stott, who was riding his first winner in Bahrain, Real World dominated the closing stages of the $80,000 Al Methaq Mile (Listed). Now a seven-year-old, and previously twice runner-up to Baaeed in Group 1 races, Real World showed much of his old dash to win eased down from Wowzers and Mehmento, with market rival and last year’s winner Byline unable to land a blow.

Winning trainer Saaed Bin Suroor was delighted to see one of his favourites back in winning form, he said: “Last time Real World ran well in Doha in Qatar, and then he worked very well last week and back at a mile, which is the best trip for him, I was confident he would run well. That was good to see.”

The full result of the 2024 King’s Cup, sponsored by Bapco Energies, can be viewed here.

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