Maximum Security, McKenzie and Mucho Gusto on Saudi Soil.

A group of 12 American racehorses, with combined prize money earnings of more than USD$17.5m, got their first look at Riyadh’s King Abdulaziz Racecourse today as they touched down ahead of the $29.2m Saudi Cup day.

HRH Prince Bandar bin Khalid Al Faisal, Chairman of the Jockey Club of Saudi Arabia, who was at King Khalid International Airport to see the horses off the Saudia Cargo plane said: “I don’t think it would be overstepping the mark to say that these 12 horses arriving in Saudi Arabia today is the single most significant event in the history of flat racing in Saudi Arabia.

“This sport has made great strides over the last six months and to have horses of this caliber arrive on Saudi soil marks the beginning of a new era for us. We are fully focused on providing the best possible event on Saudi Cup weekend and can’t wait to see these horses in action.”

First off the lorry at the King Abdulaziz Racecourse Quarantine Facility was the Jason Servis-trained four-time Grade 1 winner and $20m Saudi Cup contender, Maximum Security. He was followed by Billy Batts, trained by Peter Miller who will run in the Samba Saudi Derby and sprint star, Legends of War who is prepared by Doug O’Neill.

Miller’s second two runners, Captain Scotty who goes in the Saudia Sprint and Ghoul also touched down safely while highly-anticipated Saudi Cup runners, Mucho Gusto and McKinzie, both trained by Bob Baffert and the striking grey, Tacitus trained by William Mott were also safely settled into their stables.

The popular mare, Midnight Bisou, who will take on the boys in the Saudi Cup and is trained by Steve Asmussen had a good look around as she came off the lorry along with stablemate and Samba Saudi Derby contender, Rowdy Yates and Saudi Sprint runner, Engage.

Sprinter Imperial Hint was taken of the horse box by trainer, Luis Carvajal.

Garrett Servis, son of trainer Jason who received Saudi Cup favourite Maximum Security said: “He travelled well. I was in touch with the grooms on the flight so I had regular updates. He drank half his water and ate half his feed. We will be out for a hand walk after he gets settled.”

All the US horses who landed in Riyadh today will be required to spend 48 hours inside the quarantine facility begore they can head to the main track

Tickets for Saudi Cup day and Kingdom Day are available from the Saudi Cup website: