Saudi Cup 2024 - The Worlds Richest Race

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Saudi Cup Press Release
Updated: February 06, 2024
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What is the 2024 Saudi Cup?

The Saudi Cup is a dirt race for thoroughbreds aged four and up, to be run at weight-for-age terms over 1800m (9f), worth $20 Million (USD) with a prize of $10 Million (USD) to the winner.

When is the 2024 Saudi Cup?

On Saturday February 24th, 2024, an afternoon and evening also including an undercard of international contests on the new inside turf course and on the dirt.

Where is the Saudi Cup?

The Saudi Cup is raced on the one-turn dirt oval at King Abdulaziz Racetrack, Riyadh, the capital of Saudi Arabia.

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Headlined by the World's Richest Race, The Saudi Cup. The race is worth US$20M and will again attract the finest thoroughbreds and top jockeys from around the globe.

The further eight races are the Ministry of Culture Jockey Club Local Handicap; the Group 1 DGDA Obaiya Arabian Classic run by Purebred Arabian horses; the $2m Howden Neom Turf Cup; the $2.5M Longines Red Sea Turf Handicap, the $1.5m Boutique Group Saudi Derby, the National Housing Commission Saudi International Handicap, the Sports Boulevard Riyadh Dirt Sprint and the much loved, STC 1351 Turf Sprint.

Off-the-track this is the pinnacle of Saudi style, sophistication and glamour. Riyadh's social event of the season is a celebration rich in entertainment, cuisine, fashion and cultural experiences.


1800m (9f) on dirt | Total race value: $20,000,000

  • $10,000,000 to the winning horse.
  • The second to receive $3,500,000, the third $2,000,000, the fourth $1,500,000, the fifth $1,000,000, the sixth $600,000, the seventh $500,000, the eighth $400,000, the ninth $300,000, the tenth $200,000.
  • Open to Northern Hemisphere four-year-olds and upwards and Southern Hemisphere three-year-olds and upwards.
  • Free to enter and free to run.
  • Supplementary entry for non-original entries: $200,000.
  • Weights: Northern Hemisphere and Southern Hemisphere four-year-olds and upwards: 57kg / 126lb. Southern Hemisphere three-year-olds: 53.5kg / 118lb. Fillies and mares allowed 2kg / 4lb.
  • Maximum field size: 14 runners.
  • Lasix and Bute will not be allowed in the Saudi Cup.
  • Horses who finish first, second or third in the Pegasus World Cup will be invited for the Saudi Cup even if not previously entered.

Breeders' Cup and Preakness Stars Among 2024 Saudi Cup Entries

The Saudi Cup 2024 meeting has attracted 1162 entries with horses from 15 countries seeking glory at the world's most valuable race meeting held in Riyadh on February 23 and 24.

Among the hopefuls for the Jockey Club of Saudi Arabia-organised race weekend are 41 Group or Grade 1 winners with strong support from the powerhouses of the USA with 123 horses listed and Japan - the country that produced the 2023 winner, Panthalassa - which has 110 entries.

This year's event at King Abdulaziz Racecourse will include a new prize fund worth an additional $2.25m compared to the 2023 renewal. The increase reflects the upgrades of the 2,100m Neom Turf Cup and the 1351 Turf Sprint to international Group 2, while the 2100m Al Mneefah Cup for Purebred Arabians, another turf race, will also run as a Group 1 for the first time.

Amongst the highlights are 2023 Whitney and Breeders Cup Classic winner, White Abarrio (USA) and ultra tough Breeders Cup Classic second Derma Sotagake (JPN), Preakness winner National Treasure (USA) and Malibu Stakes winner Speed Boat Beach (USA).

Group 1 stars, Luxembourg (IRE), Warm Heart (IRE), Mawj (IRE), Art Power (IRE), Simca Mille (IRE) and Double Major (IRE) feature among the high profile European entries.

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The reigning 2023 Red Sea Turf Handicap and 1351 Turf Sprint winners Silver Sonic (JPN) and Bathrat Leon (JPN) have been entered for a shot at defending their titles and fan favourite, Casa Creed (USA) holds an entry that could see him take to the King Abdulaziz turf for a third consecutive year, having finished second in the 1351 Turf Sprint in 2022 and 2023

From Japan the 2023 Dubai World Cup winner, Ushba Tesoro (JPN) holds an entry as well as The Dubai Golden Shaheen winner, Sibelius (USA).

Top Japanese dirt horse and Champions Cup winner, Lemon Pop (USA) holds his place in the Saudi Cup entries after winning the qualifier in Chukyo last month.

The Bahrain international Trophy winner, Spirit Dancer (GB) who gained an automatic place in the Neom Turf Cup, also features among the entries.

From the domestic ranks, the former USA trained Defunded (USA) now representing KSA and 2023 Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques winner, Scotland Yard (USA) have been entered in the Saudi Cup as well as the King Abdullah Stable's exciting three-year-old Taybah Fail (KSA) who could line up in the Saudi Derby.

The Saudi Cup's two Arabian races, the Obaiya Arabian Classic on the Saturday and the Al Mneefah Cup on the Friday card are now, for the first time, both Group 1PA races. As befits their status and thanks to prize money of $2m and $1.5m respectively, some of the world's best Arabians have been entered.

They include past winners Tilal Al Khalediah (KSA) (Obaiya), Asfan Al Khalediah (KSA) (Al Mneefah) and First Classs (USA) (Al Mneefah). Also among the entries are previously placed horses such as Hamdani Al Khalediah (KSA) (Obaiya), Sultana (GB) (Al Mneefah), Bint Ghaliat Al Khalediah (KSA) (Al Mneefah), Dergham Athbah (UAE) (Al Mneefah) and Soko (FR) (Al Mneefah).

Other eye-catching entries include up-and-coming young black type winners, Arjad Athbah (GB), Ghadah (FR), Mutbahy Athbah (FR) and Najeeb Al Zaman (FR) as well as some exciting local four-year-olds, Nadem Al Molwk Al Khalediah (KSA) and Vizhir (FR).

HRH Prince Bandar Bin Khaled Alfaisal, Chairman of the Jockey Club of Saudi Arabia said:

"Thank you to all the owners and trainers who made entries to this year's Saudi Cup meeting. We are looking forward to hosting all our runners and their connections in February and to the privilege of watching these supreme athletes perform at King Abdulaziz Racecourse and sharing that experience with the world.

It is great to see that so many of the world's highest profile horses hold an entry to our marquee event, which now benefits from race upgrades and increased prize money.

The Saudi Cup is one of the most important sporting and social occasions in The Kingdom, providing a place for us to come together once a year as a global community to celebrate these magnificent animals at an event that is uniquely Saudi Arabian. Our racecard provides interest and excitement across the two days with the International Jockeys Challenge featuring 14 of the top men and women from around the world as well as a race for Part II and Part III racing nations. All this is highlighted of course by The Saudi Cup - the world's most valuable race and the highlight of our racing year.

We at the JCSA are pleased to utilise The Saudi Cup as a vehicle for increased awareness of and participation in horseracing at all levels throughout Saudi society, enriching communities through involvement in sport both in terms of taking part and administration. In addition, the JCSA is honoured to be part of the international racing family, with the positive benefits of this race weekend touching both a domestic and international audience.

It is always a pleasure to meet so many people from all walks of life and corners of the globe who are brought together by one shared passion - horseracing. We look forward to welcoming all our runners and connections and wish everyone the very best in preparation."

About the Saudi Cup

The Saudi Cup is the Jockey Club of Saudi Arabia's marquee event and is charged with raising awareness of horse racing in the country and encouraging participation among men and women throughout the sport. It also aims to promote Saudi Arabia at an international level, acting as a marker for the Kingdom's transformational journey, encouraging tourism and investment.

Horseracing in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia stretches back more than five decades since the Jockey Club of Saudi Arabia was formed in 1965. Racing traditionally took place on a 2000m left-handed dirt track until the introduction of a 1800m turf track in February 2020, on time for the inaugural Saudi Cup meeting, which was heralded as the most significant event in the history of horse racing in Saudi Arabia.

First run in 2020 and organised by the Jockey Club of Saudi Arabia, The Saudi Cup is a two-day international racing festival, headlined by the USD$20m The Saudi Cup - the world's most valuable race. The meeting takes place on the last weekend of February at King Abdulaziz racecourse in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. Total prize money for The Saudi Cup 2024 stands at USD$ 31.5m and attracts the world's highest rated racehorses.

The fourth renewal of the festival will open with the STC International Jockeys Challenge day on the Friday, which sees seven female and seven male jockeys from Australia, Europe, Japan, the United States of America, as well as two local jockeys compete as individuals in four races, each worth USD$400,000. Races are open to locally trained horses only and are run over a variety of distances on dirt and turf, ranging from a 1200m sprint to a middle-distance race over 1800m.

Jockeys collect 15 points for a victory with the next four finishers scoring 10, 7, 4 and 2 points. In addition to prizemoney earned in a race, competing jockeys share a prize pot of USD$ 100,000.

Last year's STC International Jockeys Challenge was won by Australian jockey Caitlin Jones who will be invited back to King Abdulaziz Racecourse in 2024 to defend her title.

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 class 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 sees horses from around the world compete on dirt and on turf for a share of the USD$35.35m total prize pot.

The inaugural running of The Saudi Cup (2020) saw 22 Group or Grade 1 winners compete across an eight-race card for a total prize pot of USD$29.2M. In 2022 the prize purse has been increased to $30.5M and the number of Group and Grade 1 winners entered to run went up to 31.

In 2022 the meeting received a record number of entries from 22 countries, including 70 individual Group 1 or Grade 1 winners.


Chairman - Prince Bandar Bin Khalid Al Faisal

Welcome to the Saudi Cup 2024

Now in its fifth year and worth a new total of USD 37.35M, The Saudi Cup meeting allows Saudi's racing fraternity to host the world's best during our celebration of this great sport for two days at the end of February each year.

The JCSA is sharply focused on two areas of development: our domestic growth as a sustainable sporting and entertainment industry and our profile as an international facing and upwardly mobile racing jurisdiction.

Since we launched The Saudi Cup in 2020 it has served as a shopfront for Saudi racing, showcasing our best talent and inspiring progression from grass roots to elite level.

As a gathering of the best racing minds at one of the most international meetings held anywhere in the world, The Saudi Cup also facilitates the open flow of information and ideas that positively impacts the future of racing, not just in The Kingdom, but everywhere.

At its core The Saudi Cup provides a stage for the best in the world to come together and compete for the sport's most valuable prizes. The weekend's international races are supported by an undercard designed to provide world stage opportunities for the JCSA's biggest assets - our owners, trainers and jockeys.

Add to the mix two Group races for Purebred Arabians and a contest for the best from Part III and II racing countries and, of course, the always popular International Jockeys Challenge (IJC). This year the IJC features an additional turf race, making this competition a true test of jockey skill across the two surfaces and a variety of distances ranging from 1200m to 2100m.

On the subject of Purebred Arabian racing, we are delighted to announce the upgrade of the Obaiya Arabian Classic to a Group 1 and the Al Mneefah Cup, after its inaugural running, has been upgraded to a Group 2. These international classifications are further evidence of our commitment to this code of racing and our desire to provide a competitive global forum in which the world's best Purebred Arabians can compete.

Back in the Thoroughbred ranks, we have also added a new 1800m USD$500,000 race on the Friday for locally-trained horses, providing a Saudi Cup-day stage for The Kingdom's best middle distance Thoroughbreds.

We hope that we can welcome you to King Abdulaziz Racecourse this February and look forward to receiving your free nominations by Wednesday January 4, 2024.

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