Saudi Arabia’s Jockey Club has announced five new support races to the world’s richest race, the Cup, which will take place in Riyadh at the end of February.
On the back of showing the 20 million dollar feature event it’s been declared there will be three races to be run on a turf course to the card.
There’ll be a staying handicap over just short of two miles, value $1.5 million to the winner, also a contest over a protracted 10 furlongs, worth $1 million, along with a sprint finished nearly seven furlongs with exactly the identical prize money available.
There will also be one and a six-furlong dirt rush over a mile.
Frankie Dettori has ridden in Saudi Arabia and is a lover of this dirt program.
“The grade of the dirt track at Riyadh is second to none,” he said.
“I’ve ridden European horses onto it, plus they carry to it very well, and the newest turf trail will give the day much more allure.
“The welcome anticipating any jockey competing in the Kingdom is outstanding. The Islamic racing fraternity’s hospitality is excellent, and there’s really a passion for the game. I am hoping that I’ll be there on the starting lineup come February 29.”
John Gosden was yet another to provide his support.
He said:”These races will probably provide terrific targets for a variety of horses – from sprinters to stayers, plus a mile race for three-year-olds which is well worth a fantastic deal more than the early Classics.
“I’m already thinking about which horses I could take.”
The Saudi Cup will be staged at the King Abdulaziz racetrack – and chairman of Saudi Arabia’s Jockey Club, HRH Prince Bandar bin Khalid Al Faisal, is excited about staging turf racing for the first time.
“We believe the new races can make Saudi Cup Day a wonderful sporting occasion, and we will be thrilled to welcome international competitors to these new races,” he explained.
“I am particularly pleased that we’ll be having turf racing in Riyadh for the very first time. Things are really beginning to take shape.”