So we now know a little more about the meeting to be held at King Abdulaziz Racecourse in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia on Saturday, February 29th 2020.
The Saudi Cup race day has the small matter of $29.2m up for grabs. The main event the Saudi Cup will become the world’s most valuable race with a purse of $20 million with the supporting card races worth another $9.2 million. Unsurprisingly the 1m1f dirt race has attracted more than 140 nominations, representing four continents, 16 countries and more than 60 trainers around the globe. Eye-catching names include Midnight Bisou, Maximum Security and McKinzie.
The supporting card, including the first-ever turf races in Saudi Arabia, have also been well supported with Aidan O’Brien having Magic Wand and Anthony Van Dyck in the 1m2½ Neom Turf Cup and my old mate Kew Gardens is in the 1m7f red Sea Turf Handicap along with Godolphin owned Cross Counter and Dee Ex Bee. Obviously, they won’t all run, Godolphin will no doubt be concentrating on the Carnival for example, but it looks like it could be a very good card down at King Abdulaziz Racecourse.
Tom Ryan, Director of Strategy and International Racing for the Jockey Club of Saudi Arabia was thrilled by the strong levels of global interest in the race day. “The response to the Saudi Cup from the international racing community has been fantastic,” he said. “We couldn’t be happier with the entries that we’ve received and we are now fully focused on putting on a spectacular first Saudi Cup race day to live up to the calibre of these entries.”
Entries will now be whittled
down to final fields, based on ratings allocated by former BHA senior
handicapper, Phil Smith.