Saeed bin Suroor has explained his thinking behind taking on the boys in the Saudi Derby this weekend with his exciting filly Soft Whisper – who will have the assistance of American riding great Mike Smith.

A seven-length winner of the UAE 1000 Guineas last time out, the daughter of Dubawi has skipped the seemingly easier option of the UAE Oaks this week to make the short journey to Riyadh.

She will arrive in Saudi on a five-timer – but faces a stern rival in the shape of Charlie Appleby’s Rebel’s Romance, among others.

“She won well in the Guineas so we’re going to let her take her chance in the big race in Saudi,” said Bin Suroor.

“We’ll see how she does in a race like that. She’s done well since the Guineas, she’s in good form and we want to see how she gets on against the better horses.

“By running her in this we’ll see how good she is.

“After this we have the option of running her in the UAE Derby, that’s another option after this race.

“She’s exciting, we’re looking forward to seeing her run.”

On jockey arrangements, Bin Suroor said: “We booked Mike Smith because he was coming over (to ride Charlatan in the Saudi Cup) and he was available.

“Obviously if you can get a jockey like him, you do. Frankie (Dettori) is riding (New Treasure) for Mr (John) Gosden.”

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