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Saudi Arabia announces world's richest race

Saudi Arabia announces world's richest race © Racing.com

Saudi Arabia announces world's richest race

© Racing.com

 

By James Tzaferis

Saudi Arabia will host the world's richest horse race from 2020 after it was announced on Thursday that The Saudi Cup will carry an incredible US$20 million purse for its inaugural running.

To be staged at Riyadh's King Abdulaziz racetrack in February next year, the 1800-metre weight-for-age race on dirt will dwarf the prizemoney offered in Sydney's The Everest, the Dubai World Cup and the Pegasus World Cup in America.

The winner will pocket US$10m, while connections of horses that finish second to 10th will share in a further US$10m.

And unlike several of its lucrative counterparts, the race will not be run as a sweepstakes, with entries free for all horses.

In announcing the race, the Chairman of the Jockey Club Of Saudi Arabia, HRH Prince Bandar bin Khalid Al Faisal, said it was designed to foster the development of Saudi Arabia's racing industry.

"The introduction of The Saudi Cup as an international race is without doubt the most significant event in the history of horse racing in KSA (Kingdom of Saudi Arabia) and demonstrates our resolve to develop this great sport in Saudi Arabia, and also our ambition to become a leading player on horse racing's world stage," he said.

"We look forward to welcoming international horsemen and women, the media, racing enthusiasts and the public to Riyadh in 2020."

The Saudi Cup will be open to Northern Hemisphere four-year-olds and upwards, as well as three-year-olds and older from the Southern Hemisphere, with a final field of 14 to face the starter.

Horses who finish first, second or third in the Pegasus World Cup will be invited for The Saudi Cup, while locally-trained horses are expected to be able to win their way into the race via at least one ballot-exempt lead-up race.

Where's the cash - a look at some of the world's richest horse races:

Saudi Cup (2020) - US$20m

Dubai World Cup (2019) - US$12m

The Everest (2019) - AUD$14m

Pegasus World Cup (2018) - US$16m (split into two separate races worth $9m and $7m in 2019)

Melbourne Cup (2019) - AUD$8m

Breeders' Cup Classic (2019) - US$6m

Japan Cup (2019) - US$6m

Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe (2019) - €5m

Hong Kong Cup (2019) - HK$28m

 

This article first appeared on Racing.com and is reprinted here with their kind permission. To find out more about Racing Victoria's Off the Track program, visit rv.racing.com/the-horse/off-the-track.

 

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