Some of the very best male and female jockeys in the world will compete over four races in the first ever stc International Jockeys Challenge at the King Abdulaziz Racetrack in Riyadh on Friday.
On the eve of the inaugural running of the $20,000,000 Saudi Cup, jockeys from 10 different countries will compete on the dirt track and among them will be the 2019 Longines World’s Best Jockey, Frankie Dettori.
Dettori has strong claims of winning the opening leg of the challenge on Moshaghebah, who is drawn in stall 4 and was a winner of her last race. Another interesting runner in the 1400m event is Matmon, who raced in smart company last time and will be ridden by three-time champion jockey in New Zealand, Lisa Allpress.
“I was extremely thrilled to be invited and excited about the races tomorrow to be riding against world-class jockeys for world-class trainers,” Allpress said. “Hopefully I can show what I can do but in a challenge like this a lot comes down to the luck of a draw.”
She continued: “I can’t wait to get out on the track. My first impressions were ‘wow’ we don’t really have anything like this back at home so I’m really excited to be a part of this.”
The most successful jockey in Breeders’ Cup history, Mike Smith, has the notable mount on Sun Hat in the second leg. Sun Hat was a three-time winner in England and has won over 1650m in Saudi Arabia previously.
Group 1 winning trainer Bader Rizaiq could be a part of history as he has two runners, Aeisam and Nassohah, in the second leg of the challenge. Leading British jockey Nicola Currie and the Canadian history maker Emma-Jayne Wilson have been drawn to ride Aeisam and Nassohah respectively.
In the third leg of the challenge, Frankie Dettori will ride the five-time winner Sha Aem, while Adel Alfouraidi will ride Bajeer, who was a winner of his last start.
French jockey Mickaëlle Michel looks to have a very strong chance of finishing the challenge on a high in leg four on the recent winner Bint Alaqeelah, while the Japanese superstar Yutaka Take could have an outside chance on Yafooz.