Exercise rider Amelia Green and New York-bred Dubai World Cup contender Audible have turned heads during morning track work at Meydan Racecourse in Dubai.
Audible, trained by Todd Pletcher for China Horse Club, Head of Plains Partners, Starlight Racing and WinStar Farm, has won five of nine career starts, and last year's Grade 1 Florida Derby winner will look to return to form in the G1, $12-million Dubai World Cup.
Green, a native of Nottingham, England and a British Racing School graduate, and Audible have made quite the international pair each morning, standing in the shadow of the Meydan grandstand.
“He's a very mature horse. He loves to stand and watch the world go by. If I let him, he'd stand all day and watch everyone train,” Green said. “It's not that he's refusing to train – he loves training – but he's just happy doing whatever you want him to do. Gallop wise, he's never too tough, and the same when he's breezing. He does whatever you want him to do, which makes my life easy.”
A maiden winner in November 2017 at Aqueduct Racetrack, Audible, a son of Into Mischief bred by Oak Bluff Stables, emerged as a Triple Crown contender in 2018, winning the G2 Holy Bull and Florida Derby at Gulfstream Park ahead of a third-place effort in the Kentucky Derby.
Green was in the irons each morning leading into the Derby, a role she was a natural fit to secure.
“I've been riding horses my entire life. My grandfather trained National Hunt horses. He retired before I was born, but he always wanted me to get into racing,” said Green. “When I was 16, I went to the British Racing School and from there I went to work for Henry Cecil.”
Sir Henry Cecil, widely regarded as one of the greatest trainers of all time, provided Green the opportunity to travel to California, where she could pursue her dream of being a jockey.
“He sent me to California for a month and I loved it there. He sadly passed away the following summer. I finished the year for Lady Jane, his wife, and then packed up and moved to California,” Green said. “I came out here on a five-year visa. I wanted to ride races, but I was struggling with the weight and wasn't getting to where I wanted to be, so I stopped riding races and became an assistant trainer in California.”
Green won nine races as a jockey, including her first aboard Twin Six on Dec. 13, 2013 at Hollywood Park, before becoming an assistant trainer.
“I had one year left on my visa before I had to go home, and I really wasn't sure if I wanted to stay or not, but I thought I should try the East Coast before I go to see if I liked it,” Green said. “Mike McCarthy, an ex-assistant for Todd Pletcher, got me a job in New York and I came to the East Coast and just loved it.”
Green said she has found a home away from home in upstate New York, where the scenic Saratoga Race Course offers a familiar racing atmosphere.
“I like the prestige of Saratoga,” Green said. “It reminds me of England in that there's a lot of history in Saratoga with racing. It's a nice track to ride over and there's top class racing all summer and the weather is great.”
Green has traveled back and forth from New York to Florida and beyond for Pletcher, and the experienced horsewoman said she is appreciative of the opportunity provided by the veteran conditioner.
“I've only worked for Todd for a year and a half and I feel very lucky that I got to ride such a good horse so early on in working for him. Audible has truly been a highlight for me,” Green said.
In Dubai, Green is overseeing the preparation of both Audible and Coal Front, who will start in the G2, $1.5-million Godolphin Mile. And while working in one of the richest countries in the world may seem fanciful, there's plenty of work to be done.
“I have a foreman here with me, Juan Aguayo, and he's very good,” Green said. “We get to the barn around 3:45 each morning and gets Coal Front ready. He leaves the barn at 4:30 to train at 5:00. We take him back, cool him out and then Audible goes straight after that at 7:00.”
Audible has caught sloppy tracks in his previous two starts leading into the Dubai World Cup, including a last-out fifth in the G1 Pegasus World Cup Invitational and will be looking for his first win since taking the Cherokee Run in November at Churchill Downs.
Green said she feels her New York-bred charge is in good order heading into the biggest race of his life.
“I know he's going to be a bit of a longer shot, but he's training great and he's going to get a track that he likes, not a sloppy track like he had the last two times. I think he's going to run big, I really do,” Green said. “He has a lot of stamina. You never see him stop in his races. At the end, he's always plugging on or he's there.”
And as for what's next for the world-traveling exercise rider?
“I go where Todd sends me, but I'm sure we'll be back to Saratoga for the summer,” said Green.
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