Massive response to US$20-million Saudi Cup – 140 horses provisionally entered


Massive response to US$20-million Saudi Cup – 140 horses provisionally entered

Tuesday, January 21, 2020

Print this page Email A Friend!

Stakes nominations for the US$20-million Saudi Cup February 29 and the supporting programme in Saudi Arabia were released on Tuesday (January 14), topped by 32 group or Grade 1 winners for the signature race — the richest in the world. More than 140 horses were initially entered for the centrepiece from 16 countries.

Nominations to the featured event, run on dirt around one turn at 1,800 metres (about 1 1/8 miles), include American representation in multiple Grade 1-winning mare Midnight Bisou: Cigar Mile Handicap (G1) winner Maximum Security: and Longines Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1) runner-up McKinzie, who won the US$980,000 Whitney Stakes at 1 1/8 miles.

Shortly after the Jockey Club of Saudi Arabia announced the creation of the Saudi Cup, Bob Baffert, trainer of McKinzie, said: “If you put up US$20 million, you’ll get good horses in your starting gate.”

Held at King Abdulaziz Racetrack in Riyadh, the Saudi Cup begins a new era in Saudi Arabian racing with the creation of the first turf track in the country’s history.

Among some of the day’s premier turf races, the Neom Turf Cup entry list includes the Aidan O’Brien-trained Magic Wand, a probable Pegasus World Cup Turf Invitational Stakes Presented by Runhappy (G1T) starter who won the Seppelt MacKinnon Stakes (G1) in November in Australia, and stablemate Anthony Van Dyck, the Investec Derby (G1) winner.

The Neom Turf Cup is at 2,100 metres (about 1 1/4 miles). Successful in the Singspiel Stakes Presented By Longines Master Collection (G2) at Dubai’s Meydan Racecourse, Benbatl, trained by Godolphin’s Saeed bin Suroor, has been nominated for both the Neom Turf Cup and the Saudi Cup on the dirt.

Also holding an entry in the Neom Turf Cup is Japanese star and Qatar Nassau Stakes (G1) winner Deirdre, trained by Mitsuru Hashida, currently based in Newmarket in the United Kingdom.

The Red Sea Turf Handicap, held over 3,000 metres (about 1 7/8 miles) features entries from O’Brien’s multiple group 1-winning Kew Gardens, globetrotting Prince of Arran, and the Charlie Appleby-trained Cross Counter, winner of the 2018 Lexus Melbourne Cup (G1).

“The response to the Saudi Cup from the international racing community has been fantastic,” said Tom Ryan, director of strategy and international racing for the Jockey Club of Saudi Arabia.

“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 caliber of these entries.”

According to Saudi officials, entries will now be whittled down to final fields, based on ratings allocated by former British Horseracing Authority senior handicapper Phil Smith

Now you can read the Jamaica Observer ePaper anytime, anywhere. The Jamaica Observer ePaper is available to you at home or at work, and is the same edition as the printed copy available at




1. We welcome reader comments on the top stories of the day. Some comments may be republished on the website or in the newspaper � email addresses will not be published.

2. Please understand that comments are moderated and it is not always possible to publish all that have been submitted. We will, however, try to publish comments that are representative of all received.

3. We ask that comments are civil and free of libellous or hateful material. Also please stick to the topic under discussion.

4. Please do not write in block capitals since this makes your comment hard to read.

5. Please don't use the comments to advertise. However, our advertising department can be more than accommodating if emailed:

6. If readers wish to report offensive comments, suggest a correction or share a story then please email:

7. Lastly, read our Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy

comments powered by Disqus



Today's Cartoon

Click image to view full size editorial cartoon