Kingdom of the horse: the facts and stats
Racing is run by the Jockey Club Of Saudi Arabia, founded in 1965, and takes place at two tracks: in Riyadh from October to March, with a summer season in the temperate hills of Ta’if from June until September.
In the 2018-19 season, the tracks put on some 635 races worth an average of US$30,000 apiece.
There are over 9,000 thoroughbreds in training, with a breeding herd of more than 5,000 mares and 390 registered stallions producing an annual foal crop of just short of 2,000. The reigning champion is Jorvick, a Juddmonte-bred son of Mizzen Mast, who previously raced in France.
The Kingdom’s most successful racehorse is Premium Tap, the son of Pleasant Tap who won two Grade 1s in the US – the Clark and the Woodward. He was bought by King Abdullah, having run third in the Breeders’ Cup Classic behind Invasor and Bernardini. The following February, he won the Custodian Of The Two Holy Mosques Cup in Riyadh and, next, ran second in the world’s richest race, the Dubai World Cup – once again finding America’s Horse of the Year, Invasor, a couple of lengths too good.
Premium Tap has gone on to sire many local champions in Saudi.
Visit the Jockey Club Of Saudi Arabia’s official website at https://frusiya.com