Entries have poured in for the second edition of the Saudi Cup meeting to be run on 19 and 20 February at King Abdulaziz Racetrack in Riyadh.
This despite an ongoing controversy over the 2020 outcome.
The $10 million winner’s share of the 2020 purse still has not been paid as Saudi authorities await the results of a United States investigation and litigation involving the doping scandal allegedly tied to Jason Servis, who trained Maximum Security to victory in that race.
But this week the Jockey Club of Saudi Arabia unveiled a massive list of entries, including many of the world’s top horses.
The $20 million Saudi Cup, the world’s richest race, drew more than 100 entries from nine countries including Gr1 Preakness Stakes winner Swiss Skydiver, Gr1 Runhappy Malibu Stakes winner Charlatan, and Gr1 Big Ass Fans Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile winner Knicks Go.
England’s William Haggas entered the likes of multiple group 1 winner Addeybb while John Gosden entered Prix du Jockey Club (French Derby, G1) winner Mishriff and impressive all-weather specialists Global Giant and Dubai Warrior.
A big Japanese entry list includes Omega Perfume, recent winner of the Gr1 Tokyo Daishoten on the Oi Racecourse dirt; 2020 Japan Dirt Derby winner Danon Pharaoh; and Japan’s recently crowned Dirt Horse of the Year, Chuwa Wizard, who gained an automatic spot for the Saudi Cup when winning last month’s Gr1 Champions Cup.
The winner of the Gr1 Pegasus World Cup Invitational at Gulfstream Park on 23 January also will have an automatic entry to the Saudi Cup.
Features of the Saudi Cup:
- A race for thoroughbreds aged four and up, to be run at weight-for-age terms over 1800m (9f), worth US$20m with a prize of US$10m to the winner. On the one-turn dirt oval at King Abdulaziz Racetrack, Riyadh, the capital of Saudi Arabia.
- $10,000,000 to the winning horse.
- The second to receive $3,500,000, the third $2,000,000, the fourth $1,500,000, the fifth $1,000,000, the sixth $600,000, the seventh $500,000, the eighth $400,000, the ninth $300,000, the tenth $200,000.
- Open to Northern Hemisphere four-year-olds and upwards and Southern Hemisphere three-year-olds and upwards.
- Supplementary entry for non-original entries of $200,000 to be paid on Tuesday February 9, 2021.
- Weights: Northern Hemisphere and Southern Hemisphere four-year-olds and upwards: 57kg / 126lb. Southern Hemisphere three-year-olds: 53.5kg / 118lb. Fillies and mares allowed 2kg / 4lb.
- Lasix and Bute will not be allowed in the Saudi Cup