Yet another American trainer has his eyes set on winning the Sandy Lane Gold Cup.
Less than two weeks following the running of the most prestigious horse race in the Eastern Caribbean at the Garrison Savannah, Riley Mott the son of legendary American Hall of Fame trainer Bill Mott, has disclosed his intention to compete in the 2024 edition.
Speaking from his stables at Oaklawn Park via telephone, Mott told Barbados TODAY he was looking for a graded stakes winning horse to win the Sandy Lane Gold Cup and become just the third North American trainer to do so after Mark Casse in 2010 and Mike Maker in 2014 and 2015 respectively.
Mott, who worked with his father for eight years before venturing out on his own, has five wins and three second-place finishes in 28 starts.
His father Bill, is a three-time winner of the Eclipse Award for outstanding trainer, and has also trained multiple champions, including two-time Horse of the Year Cigar.
Mott, who said he visited Barbados a few years ago and had thoroughly enjoyed the atmosphere at the Garrison Savannah, revealed he had already started discussions with authorities at the Barbados Turf Club on shipping and quarantine details.
Additionally, he said the supporting feature race on Gold Cup day, the Sandy Lane Spa Sprint which is a Grade 1 race, was also on his radar.
“I first saw the Gold Cup on television and said to myself I would love to get my hands on that Gold Cup. The party like atmosphere after the Gold Cup is next to none with hundreds of spectators following the winner. That does not happen anywhere else in the world,” Mott said.
“I’m a good student of the game and I’m aware Barbados runs on British racing rules and a lot of medications that you can use in other parts of the world such as Lasix and ‘bute’ [Phenylbutazone] can’t be used in Barbados. I will have to get a special horse for the Gold Cup. Soundness is a big factor, plus I will take my horse off Lasix from early so I know if he can run without it in Barbados.”
He maintained that “preparation would be key” while pointing out that he would do whatever is necessary to properly gear up for next year’s Gold Cu He said he would also be contemplating whether to use a Barbadian jockey, as they know the Garrison Savannah’s turf very well.
Mott said he plans to train his horses to run right-handed from as early as December in readiness for the Gold Cup. All race tracks in the US are left-handed.