Yes, it’s called a ‘global success’ with the $20m Saudi Cup expanding further into the USA and Japan, and the partnership success with the Pegasus World Cup.
In being run on Saturday 20 February 2021 at the King Adbulaziz Racecourse, Riyadh the $20m Saudi Cup of 1800m on dirt will again have a post start for the winner of the $3m Pegasus World Cup.
In 2020 it was the Saudi owned Mucho Gusto, trained by Bob Baffert, who won the Pegasus World Cup and then finished fourth in the Saudi Cup, ridden by Irad Ortiz and earned $1.5m in stakes.
Next year the $1m Pegasus World Cup Turf of 1900m run at Gulfstream Park, will be a ‘win you’re in’ for the $1m Middle Distance Turf Cup of 2100m on $30.5m Saudi Cup Day.
“The Pegasus races are exactly the calibre of runners we want to continue to welcome to Riyadh for the Saudi Cup,” said Tom Ryan, the JCSA’s Director of Strategy and International Racing.
“The Pegasus’ have consistently attracted the best horses in the USA since they were established in 2017, and this is on both the dirt and turf tracks.”
In reply, Craig Fravel of the Pegasus World Cup expressed “races like the Pegasus World Cup and Saudi Cup encourage international competition and promote our sport to fans across the globe.”
“An ongoing alliance with the Saudi Cup, and having races with global followings as the Pegasus World Cup and Pegasus World Cup Turf is key to growth and development for international racing.”
The Jockey Club of Saudi Arabia has also announced that $1.96m Champions Cup of 1800m on dirt at Chukyo Racecourse on 6 December, is a second qualifying race for the Saudi Cup.
“The first two finishers in the 2019 Champions Cup, Chrysoberyl and Gold Dream came to Saudi Cup in 2020,” said Tom Ryan, “having already proven this as an established route for top class runners.”
“We are keen to encourage more international runners across all our races, not just the marquee Saudi Cup event, and so feel our association with Japan is an important step.”
In addition, the 1200m Capella Stakes on 13 December at Nakayama Racecourse, has been announced as a qualifying race for the $1.5m Riyadh Dirt Sprint, also over 1200m.
Prominent Japanese trainer Hideyuki Mori, was excited to hear that the Champions Cup and Capella Stakes are appointed qualifying races for the Saudi Cup and the Riyadh Sprint.
“It’s the tendency that the rating of Japanese Dirt horses are lower than turf horses, and therefore we need these kind of races in Japan,” said Mr Mori who had Full Flat win the 2020 Saudi Derby.
“I have just decided to withdraw Matera Sky from Breeders’ Cup to save him for the Riyadh Sprint and look forward to visiting Saudi again in February.”
Added to Friday, 19 February prior to the Saudi Cup is the $500,000 Saudi International Handicap of 2100m for horses rated 85-100 from Part II & III racing countries of the IFHA Blue Book.
“We are keen to provide as much interest and excitement across Saudi Cup weekend as possible,” said Tom Ryan, “and with the Saudi International Handicap we wanted to offer a global stage to horses and connections that may not normally have this access, backed up by attractive prize money.”