Story So Far of The Saudi Cup
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Since its inaugural running in 2020, The Saudi Cup has become one of the most anticipated events on the global racing calendar.
Every year at the end of February, all eyes are fixed on Riyadh and the two days of top-quality racing that include an International Jockeys Challenge, two Group 1 Purebred Arabian races, the $500,000 Al Tuwaiq Cup for locally-trained horses and a scintillating programme of top calibre dirt and turf races culminating in the Group 1 USD$20m Saudi Cup, the richest race in the world. Adding further international flavour to the Friday card is the 2100m USD$500,000 Saudi International Handicap for horses trained in IFHA registered Part II and III racing countries. The Saturday is all about the Group 1 $20m Saudi Cup where the world’s top horses and jockeys compete for the ultimate prize in racing over 1800m of the King Abdulaziz dirt track. It is the final contest on an eight-race card that attracts horses from as far afield as Japan, Argentina, the USA and Europe.
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With a prize purse of $35.35m driving interest and excitement across the weekend and payouts down to 10th place, The Saudi Cup is the world’s most valuable festival of racing and serves to raise the profile of the sport to local communities as well as racing fans and horse connections abroad. Although horseracing in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia stretches back more than five decades since the Jockey Club of Saudi Arabia was formed in 1965, the sport took on a new focus with the founding of The Saudi Cup and the founding of a new 1800m turf track at King Abdulaziz Racecourse. Now, thanks to the catalyst of The Saudi Cup, The Jockey Club of Saudi Arabia has progressed from Part III to Part II in the IFHA’s Blue Book and seeks to achieve Part I status in the near future.
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A number of advancements to The Saudi Cup programme have characterised the event’s evolution over four renewals. The year 2022 saw the first international pattern races held as part of The Saudi Cup. The 2100m Neom Turf Cup, the 1351 Turf Sprint (at 1351m), the 1600m Saudi Derby on the dirt track, the 1200m Riyadh Dirt Sprint and the 3000m Red Sea Turf Handicap all went to Group 3 while The Saudi Cup over 1800m on the dirt was promoted to Group 1. Meanwhile in the Purebred Arabian ranks, the $2m 2000m Obayia Arabian Classic became a Group 1 contest in 2021 while the $1m 2100m Al Mneefah Cup, run on the turf, followed suit for the 2023 running of The Saudi Cup.
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With more than 70 international horses competing for the biggest prizes in world racing, The Saudi Cup hosts more international runners than any other race meeting and offers a true global stage on which to showcase the sport of horseracing as well as all that Saudi Arabia has to offer. Away from the thundering action on the racecourse, The Saudi Cup offers a prime opportunity for racegoers to enjoy a fun-filled festival atmosphere for all the family with music, dance, premium hospitality and high fashion contributing to a unique weekend of thrilling action and five star hospitality with a distinctly Saudi Arabian flavour.

Saudi Cup 2025

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