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    Matilda Picotte gears up for an exciting Saudi escapade
Matilda Picotte gears up for an exciting Saudi escapade
Image courtesy of Racing Post 

Matilda Picotte gears up for an exciting Saudi escapade

The Irish raider concluded the previous season in outstanding fashion, leaving a lasting impression. Matilda Picotte, the highly regarded filly trained by Kieran Cotter, is poised to launch her season with a flourish at the prestigious Saudi Cup meeting on February 24.

Her initial challenge awaits in the Turf Sprint, a race that sets the stage for her anticipated success.

Having shown immense promise as a juvenile, Matilda Picotte embarked on her three-year-old campaign in style. She announced her presence with a strong performance as the runner-up in a Guineas Trial at Leopardstown. This was followed by a commendable third-place finish in the illustrious 1000 Guineas at Epsom in May, proving her mettle against top-class competition.

The culmination of her remarkable season witnessed her triumphing in back-to-back races, the Sceptre Stakes at Doncaster and the Challenge Stakes at Newmarket, both fiercely contested over a distance of seven furlongs. These victories solidified her position as a formidable force in the racing world.

As the new season dawns, Matilda Picotte's ultimate aspiration is to seize a coveted Group One prize. However, she embarks on her campaign in the Middle East, as she has secured a spot among the entries for the highly anticipated 1351 Saudi Turf Sprint. This seven-furlong Group Two event boasts a staggering prize fund exceeding £1.5 million, attracting a top-class field of international contenders.

Cotter, the astute trainer, expresses his satisfaction with Matilda Picotte's current condition. Following a well-deserved break of six to seven weeks on lush grass, she received an invitation to compete in the Sprint, adding a touch of excitement to her preparation. With their sights set on Saudi Arabia, the team eagerly anticipates her departure on Saturday morning, ensuring a seamless journey from Shannon to Stansted, and then onward to Riyadh. The arduous journey spanning approximately 20 hours is a testament to her resilience, akin to traversing from here to Newmarket, a testament to her adaptability as a proficient traveller.

Matilda Picotte's ownership lies with the Matilda and Kilmichael Racing Partnership, a collective that shares an unwavering passion for the sport. Several members of this esteemed partnership will grace Saudi Arabia with their presence, eager to witness the commencement of what promises to be a fruitful season at the pinnacle of racing.

Anticipation fills the air as Cotter shares his thoughts on Matilda Picotte's upcoming performance. Acknowledging her exceptional display in her previous outing, he acknowledges the need for her to bring her absolute A-game to the table in two weeks. The international field is brimming with talent, as evidenced by the expected participation of the top three finishers from the previous race. The allure of substantial prize money and the invaluable opportunity to establish her Group One credentials make this Group Two race an enticing proposition.

While the main focus this year remains on claiming a Group One victory, Matilda Picotte's capabilities dictate that she must be considered as a strong contender in this race. Cotter's excitement is palpable as he reflects on the upcoming journey, confident in the filly's ability to deliver yet another exceptional performance. With a flawless track record thus far, Matilda Picotte holds the potential to exceed expectations and emerge victorious in Saudi Arabia. The presence of enthusiastic owners is sure to amplify the atmosphere, injecting an extra dose of energy and excitement into the proceedings. The stage is set, and the possibilities are endless as Matilda Picotte prepares to unleash her undeniable talent upon the world once again.


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