Trainer Riley Mott is currently adopting a fatalistic attitude to the Covid 19 pandemic that has shut horse racing down in many places across the United States.
But he still believes that his horse Tacitus is a real prospect for the coming year, however 2020 pans out in terms of events actually taking place.
Tacitus finished fifth in the inaugural Saudi Cup in February, but missed out on a run in the Group 1 Dubai World Cup, which was supposed to be run last Saturday (March 28) until Covid 19 intervened.
The four-year-old colt is now back at home at Belmont Park, after clearing quarantine in New Jersey.
“He shipped well, and he’s in good health. He’s been to the track and galloped,” said Mott. “We have a big dance card lined up for him if the races continue on.”
Tacitus finished third in last year’s Kentucky Derby. He also won the 2019 Tampa Bay Derby last March.
Mott was delighted with the horse’s performance in Saudi Arabia, and thinks he will perform well domestically, if the racing schedule continues in a recognisable form.
“He came out of the Saudi race fantastic, and we were eager to run in Dubai. We thought he was sitting on a really big race,” Mott told local reporters.
The trainer believes that the horse will be a competitive presence in some of the top handicap races, if the schedules continue relatively normally.
Mott also backs Tacitus to be just at the beginning of a successful career, with the Breeders’ Cup an eventual aim.
“You’d like to see him in races at Saratoga like the Woodward and the Whitney and then the Jockey Club Gold Cup again,” he added.