RIYADH: David Egan and Saffie Osborne are quietly becoming quite a power couple in horse racing.
The highly regarded Egan is attempting to repeat his 2021 success in The Saudi Cup riding Mishriff, and Osborne can also be hopeful of emulating such a sharp upward curve after her recent feats.
Osborne, 20, whose father is the British trainer Jamie Osborne, rode 50 winners in her first full season in the UK last year and would like nothing more than one day to compete in the stc International Jockeys Challenge, or even better, in The Saudi Cup races. She and boyfriend Egan are currently based in Bahrain, where they both work for trainer Fawzi Nass.
She said: “In England I’m based in Lambourn (village in the county of Berkshire), and David is based in Newmarket (town in Suffolk), so we don’t get to see each other often, apart from when we happen to ride in the same races.
“But in Bahrain we get to ride out together, which has been good fun. We are very critical of each other, but in a good way, a constructive way.”
Osborne, who was also a highly successful event rider and represented Britain at three under-21 European Championships, winning two gold and three silver medals between 2017 and 2019, added: “When we started going out, I beat David when he was on a favorite, and he didn’t speak to me the whole way home. But we got better with that. We are very happy for the other to win.”
Egan is riding the John and Thady Gosden-trained Mishriff in the $20 million main event and is also booked to ride Qaader, trained by Nass, in Friday’s Saudi International Handicap presented by Al Rajhi Bank.
Osborne said: “It is great to be here to support David and hopefully see Mishriff reclaim the cup. Obviously, I want David to win on all the horses he’ll ride on Saudi Cup night.”
Victory in The Saudi Cup last year was the launchpad win of Egan’s career. He followed it up with Group 1 triumphs in the Dubai Sheema Classic and the Juddmonte International, both on Mishriff.
Osborne will no doubt be hoping that eventually she gets the opportunity to form a partnership with a horse that will help her reach the stars, too.