Post positions were drawn for SAUDI CUP day at King Abdulaziz racetrack in Riyadh Saturday, February 20. The second of a big two-day festival of racing will be shown on HPI TV beginning at 8 a.m. The $20 million Saudi Cup is at 12:40 p.m. Eastern.
While there are many opinions about the richest race in the world, where it is held and the fact that the first edition of the race last year still has not been declared official as far who will get the winner’s share of $10 million, it is still a horse race and we love horse racing.
And there is some Canadian content to focus on. The lightly-raced, brilliant CHARLATAN is one of the two big ones in the 1 1/8 mile Saudi Cup along with another speedster, KNICKS GO. Charlatan is co-owned by Toronto owner/breeder JOHN FIELDING.
Bob Baffert and Brad Cox train the two favourites, respectively.
It seems probable that the two fellows will be setting a solid early pace and, depending on how good the competition is, may or may not be able to go all the way.
There are other Americans in the field. SLEEPY EYES TODD, fourth behind Knicks Go in the Pegasus World Cup, has the ability to stalk and pounce as does MAX PLAYER, who has not raced since he was fifth in the Preakness Stakes (G1) and fifth in the Kentucky Derby (G1).
Others in the race include MILITARY LAW (GB), winner of the Al Maktoum Challenge 1 Jan. 21 and CHUWA WIZARD (JPN), winner of the Group 1 Champions Cup in Japan Dec. 6.
And in the Neom Turf Cup, with an 8 am post time, Canadian-bred CHANNEL MAKER, the 2020 Eclipse Award winning Champion Turf Male, competes for $1 million at 1 3/8 miles on grass. Channel Maker was bred in Ontario by Ivan Dalos.
Saturday, King Abdulaziz, Saudi Arabia, post time: 8:40 p.m. (12:40)
SAUDI CUP (Cond.), $20,000,000, 3yo/up, 1800m
SaddleTowel Post HORSE SIRE JOCKEY TRAINER WT
1 — Alzahzaah (KSA) Worldly SCR SCR SCR
2 2 Bangkok (Ire) Australia (GB) Moore A Balding 126
3 9 Charlatan Speightstown Smith Baffert 126
4 1 Chuwa Wizard (Jpn) King Kamehameha (Jpn) Tosaki Okubo 126
5 14 Extra Elusive (GB) Mastercraftsman (Ire) Doyle Charlton 126
6 6 Global Giant (GB) Shamardal Dettori Gosden 126
7 3 Great Scot (GB) Requinto (Ire) Alfouraidi Al Kahtani 126
8 5 Knicks Go K Paynter Rosario Cox 126
9 4 Max Player K Honor Code Rispoli Asmussen 126
10 10 Military Law (GB) Dubawi (Ire) Fresu Al Mheri 126
11 12 Mishriff (Ire) Make Believe (GB) Egan Gosden 126
12 11 Simsir (Ire) Zoffany (Ire) de Vries Nass 126
13 8 Sleepy Eyes Todd K Paddy O’Prado Moreno Silva 126
14 7 Tacitus Tapit Velazquez Mott 126
15 13 Derevo (GB) Dansili (GB) Demuro Al Kahtani 126
16 — Cariblanco (Chi) Awesome Patriot No Rider Saad 126
Saturday, King Abdulaziz, Saudi Arabia, post time: 4:00 p.m. (8 a.m.)
NEOM TURF CUP (Cond.), $1,000,000, 3yo/up, 2100mT
SC PP HORSE SIRE JOCKEY TRAINER WT
1 2 Al Hamdany (Ire) Kodiac (GB) Demuro Saad 126
2 3 Channel Maker K English Channel Rosario Mott 126
3 10 Emirates Knight (Ire) Dark Angel (Ire) Moreno Alshoieb 126
4 11 For The Top (Arg) Equal Stripes (Arg) Barzalona bin Ghadayer 126
5 7 Gronkowski K Lonhro (Aus) Peslier Khalid 126
6 5 Kuwait Currency K Kitten’s Joy Castro Almutairi 126
7 1 Saltonstall (GB) Pivotal (GB) Ryan Guiness 126
8 8 Star of Wins (Ire) Sea The Stars (Ire) Ospina Alghareeban 126
9 4 Staunch (GB) Pivotal (GB) Ramos Almindeel 126
10 12 Tilsit First Defence Moore C Hills 126
11 6 Four White Socks (GB) (m) Lope de Vega (Ire) Wanas Haif 121
12 9 True Self (Ire) (m) Oscar (Ire) Doyle Mullins 121