Extra Elusive ready to go ahead of his biggest test

Extra Elusive is in great form as he bids for victory in the world’s richest race, the Saudi Cup, under Hollie Doyle in Saudi Arabia on Saturday.

Hollie Doyle catches up with Extra Elusive in Saudi Arabia. Photo – Roger Charlton

It is the first trip abroad for our homebred six-year-old but he travelled well and has adapted to his new surroundings without fuss.

Extra Elusive forged a formidable partnership with Doyle last season when powering to victories in the Group 3 Rose Of Lancaster and Group 3 Winter Hill Stakes. In all, he is the winner of five of 17 starts for Roger Charlton.

Extra Elusive has been handed a draw of 14 for Saturday’s event but Doyle is undeterred by the wide position for his first try on dirt.

“Mishriff ran a good race last year from a wide enough draw [when second in the Saudi Derby] so that’s a positive,” she told Sky Sports Racing. “We’re not too bothered about because we don’t know he’ll face the kickback. There’s no doubt there’ll be a lot of pace on with the American horses in there.

“Imad has been really keen to come here. I think Roger is really pleased with Extra Elusive as well – apparently he’s taken to the changes really well.”

Roger Charlton is also pleased with how the gelding has adapted to his new surroundings.

“The preparation has gone really well,” he told the Saudi Cup notes team. “Extra Elusive is a fairly highly strung horse and had not travelled before, and therefore I was concerned before his departure that he would be not fully relaxed once there.

“But that’s been completely wrong; he’s been very good, eating well and drinking well, resting. Out at exercise he’s been relaxed and moving well, and I couldn’t be more pleased with the way things have gone.

“This morning he just had a light exercise on the training track, jogging and cantering round, came back and everyone seems very happy with him. Fingers crossed at the moment, the horse has done everything that we hoped he might do for us.”

Extra Elusive was bred at Blue Diamond Stud out of the Hennessy mare Nessina and is a half-brother to our Group 2 Gimcrack Stakes winner Ajaya. Nessina is out of Grade 2 winner Didina and therefore a member of the same famed Juddmonte family as Cityscape, Bated Breath and Thursday’s Group 2 Meydan Sprint winner Equilateral.

Extra Elusive and Hollie Doyle win the Rose of Lancaster Stakes. Photo – Grossick Photography/Racing Post

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