The team behind the world’s richest race – the Saudi Cup, to be run on February 29th, 2020 – has converged on Saratoga Springs ahead of the official launch of the new landmark contest on Wednesday evening. Led by HRH Prince Bandar bin Khalid Al Faisal, Chairman of the Jockey Club Of Saudi Arabia, the Saudi Cup organisers also include HRH Prince Abdullah bin Khalid al Saud, the race’s Global Ambassador Harry Herbert, racecourse officials Tom Ryan and Adel Almazroa, plus Alastair Donald of the International Racing Bureau. Presenters Nick Luck and Britney Eurton will be hosting the presentation at famed auction house Fasig-Tipton, assisted by Frankie Dettori and Gary Stevens.
‘It’s an enormous pleasure to be in this historic racing resort among horse people from around the world,’ said Prince Bandar. ‘We are looking forward to telling them the plans for our race and being as hospitable to them when they visit Saudi Arabia as they have been to us here.’ The Saudi Cup commemorates the founding of Saudi Arabia as a nation state by King Abdulaziz ibn Saud, father of the reigning King Salman, in 1932. That year, the world’s richest race was the Agua Caliente Handicap won by fabled antipodean superstar Phar Lap.
One of the features of the launch will be interviews with jockeys who have long experience of competing in Riyadh. With a similar topography to Belmont Park, the King Abdulaziz Racetrack is reputed to have one of the finest dirt surfaces in the world.