A strong international field has assembled for the 2024 running of the Crown Prince’s Cup, including contenders from the United Kingdom and United Arab Emirates. Worth $150,000, the 2000m race carries Listed status and will be run on Friday 2nd February at the Rashid Equestrian and Horseracing Club as part of an action-packed day that features two Bahrain Turf Series races, as well as the Bahrain Derby and Bahrain Oaks.
Nine runners go to post for the Crown Prince’s Cup, sponsored by Cebarco, and leading the challenge from abroad are two horses travelling from Dubai in a bid to win the race again for owners Godolphin. The progressive 4-year-old Local Dynasty will have one of the world’s leading riders, Tom Marquand, on board for trainer Charlie Appleby, while Kieran Shoemark takes the ride on Passion And Glory, winner of the 2023 King’s Cup, for trainer Saeed Bin Suroor.
The remainder of the field is made up of internationally trained horses currently based in Bahrain and a strong home team. Running for British trainer, George Scott, in the familiar colours of His Highness Shaikh Nasser’s Victorious Racing is Isle Of Jura, the break-out star from this season’s Bahrain Turf Series, who takes the step up from handicap company for this $150,000 Listed race.
The 4-year-old gelding, described by his trainer as a ‘giant of a horse’, made a deep impression on his first start in Bahrain when impressively winning the opening round of the Bahrain Turf Series. He then finished a close second to Lucander in round two and the pair re-oppose in Friday’s race, but with Isle Of Jura better off at the weights. Trainer George Scott is excited by the prospect of Isle Of Jura stepping up in class and competing in such a valuable race as the Crown Prince’s Cup.
George Scott said: “Isle Of Jura has not surprised me in terms of how well he has done in Bahrain. He has really thrived in the conditions and the lovely fast ground was always going to suit him. I thought he would win first time out and then we were gutted with the draw we got next time, yet despite that he ran a huge race.
“The plan was always to progress from the Bahrain Turf Series to the Cup races and this (2000m) is his distance, so I am very hopeful of a big run. It would mean a great deal to His Highness Shaikh Nasser to win a race as prestigious as the Crown Prince’s Cup.
“His Highness has been a wonderful supporter of mine and has played a key part in reviving the fortunes of the yard, entrusting me with some really talented, speedy two-year-olds, as well as Isle Of Jura, who is a completely different type of horse, a giant of a horse with a late maturing pedigree.”
Ironically, Isle Of Jura was bred by Godolphin, who provide two of his principal opponents on Friday, and was bought by George Scott at a horses-in-training sale in March of last year, when he was just a once raced 3-year-old.
“A horse of his size, scope and pedigree is not usually available, certainly not within my price range, in the sales ring. Having seen him in the flesh, we were absolutely prepared to forgive him his one poor run, we were very keen on him and felt he just needed time. Once we got him for Shaikh Nasser, then the objective was always for him to progress into a horse good enough to campaign in Bahrain.”
“Shaikh Nasser has come to watch both of Isle Of Jura’s runs this season. I think he enjoys hosting us and he certainly enjoys competing. He is so enthusiastic; he loves to win but is also so gracious when things don’t go so well. It would be a thrill to train a horse to win a Crown Prince’s Cup for him.”
Isle Of Jura will again be ridden by jockey Callum Shepherd, the pair having developed a good partnership with Shepherd riding him in six of his seven starts for George Scott.
The home team’s defence is headed by the in-form Zagato, running for Al Mohamediya Racing and trainer Fawzi Nass. Along with Isle Of Jura and Lucander, Zagato is another horse to transition from success in the Bahrain Turf Series to the Crown Prince’s Cup.
The day also features round four in the 2023-24 Bahrain Turf Series, with the sprint division runners competing in the Hawar Cup over 1200m and the middle-distance horses running for the Anchorman Cup, sponsored by Howden, over 1800m.
The declared runners for the 2024 Crown Prince’s Cup are as follows or click here
Passion And Glory
Saeed Bin Suroor
Al Adiyat Racing
Duc De Kent
Deva Racing DDK
Isle Of Jura
Jones & Bowden