Making his second start in Saudi Arabia since a game runner-up effort to Invasor in the Dubai World Cup (UAE-I), Premium Tap crushed 16 rivals Nov. 2 in the 2,000-meter Ministry of Culture and Information Cup at Al Janadriah racecourse, winning by seven lengths in 2:01.66.
The 5-year-old son of Pleasant Tap, owned by Saudi King Abdullah and his sons, will be pointed toward Saudi Arabia’s two most prestigious races before another possible bid in the $6-million World Cup in March 2008.
“We chose this race today to prepare Premium Tap for the Crown Prince Cup (Dec. 7),” trainer Julio Gardel, a native of Argentina, told that country’s La Nacion newspaper. “Premium Tap is a great horse in training and in racing and we are just trying to relax him. All was good and the next goal will be the King’s Cup. We also are thinking about the Dubai World Cup in 2008.”
King Abdullah purchased Premium Tap after the horse won the 2006 Clark Handicap (gr. I) and finished third behind Invasor and Bernardini in the Breeders’ Cup Classic (gr. I).
In his first start for the royal family, Premium Tap won the King’s Cup, also known as the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques Cup, in February before finishing just 1 ¾ lengths behind Invasor in the Dubai World Cup.
Though former trainer John Kimmel had hoped Premium Tap would be sent back to America for another try at the Breeders’ Cup Classic - Powered by Dodge (gr. I), he was kept in Saudi Arabia. On Sept. 14, he returned to the races, defeating Radae, a group III winner in his native Brazil under the name Impossible Ski, in a one-mile event at Al Janadriah.
Radae again finished second Nov. 2, two lengths ahead of Argentine-bred Taj Alwiqaar, who placed second in the 2006 Argentine Derby (Arg-I) while racing as Boca Tramposo.